BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB/WFLA) – Two police officers were suspended without pay after they were caught on video shoving an elderly man in Buffalo, New York. The man fell backwards and hit his head on the ground, according to reports.
The incident happened at the end of Thursday’s protest in Niagara Square.
State police medics aided the injured man, and a source says that he suffered a laceration and a possible concussion. He’s reported to be in ECMC in stable condition.
A video that News 4 obtained from WBFO shows the 75-year-old, appearing to be pushed back by police before falling backward and hitting his head on the steps of Buffalo City Hall.
Police originally said that “one person was injured when he tripped and fell”. It’s not clear whether they were referring to the incident that was caught on camera.
A News 4 reporter was at the scene during the incident and shared a picture of the man being taken away via ambulance, adding that it was difficult to tell whether the man was pushed over by an officer or fell backwards while trying to back away from the officer, or both.
Later in the night, Buffalo Police Department Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said that internal affairs has opened an investigation into the incident, and that the investigation was ordered by the commissioner of police.
Rinaldo later told CBS News that “the Police Commissioner has immediately suspended two officers without pay in connection with the incident observed in the video.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted about the incident on Thursday evening, saying:
Police say four people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges for blocking traffic in the area. A fifth was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct during a skirmish involving protesters. Police originally said that one person was injured when he tripped and fell.
Other than the arrests and the injury, the protest was peaceful.
The city’s curfew is in effect until 5 a.m. It’s in effect every day from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through and including Sunday.
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