06 June 2020

Entire Buffalo police unit resigns ‘in disgust’ following suspension of two officers for shoving 75-year-old to the ground during protest

All 57 officers of the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team have resigned in protest after two of their colleagues were suspended for allegedly pushing a 75-year-old man to the ground during George Floyd protests on Thursday.

The mass resignation was confirmed by the police union after members spoke to Buffalo News.

It was further reported in Spectrum News that the action was in ’support for the suspended officers, as well as the disgust with the admin’.

John Evans, Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President, claimed the two officers were ’simply doing their job’ and was adamant the man had ’slipped’ rather than being pushed during the altercation, of which a video circulated on social media.

The clip shows the 75-year-old man, later identified as Martin Gugino, going up to the two anonymous armed officers before appearing to be pushed to the ground.

Blood is then seen coming from the side of his head and he is now reported to be in Erie County Medical Centre in a serious but stable condition.

"Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders," said Evans.

“I don’t know how much contact was made. He did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards."

The public resignation comes following the union’s announcement that it would not pay legal defence fees for officers involved in cases directly related to the protests.

Despite this ruling, Evans has said that he and the Buffalo force ’stand behind those [suspended] officers 100 per cent,’ and will be funding any defence costs that may be required.

Protests are set to continue across Buffalo this weekend but Mayor Byron Brown has said that, despite the resignation of such a large emergency unit, they ’have a contingency plan’ and ’Buffalo will be safe this weekend.’

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