New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is expressing deep concern about the footage capturing the behavior of multiple officers with the Buffalo Police Department.
Late Thursday night, Cuomo took to Twitter to voice his concerns about the footage captured in Buffalo, New York.
The Democratic governor tweeted, “This incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful. I’ve spoken with Buffalo [Mayor Byron Brown] and we agree that the officers involved should be immediately suspended pending a formal investigation. Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law.”
This incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 5, 2020
I've spoken with Buffalo @MayorByronBrown and we agree that the officers involved should be immediately suspended pending a formal investigation.
Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law. https://t.co/EYIbTlXnPt
Cuomo’s tweet comes amid the circulation of the footage showing a 75-year-old man being shoved to the ground by two Buffalo police officers.
A cracking sound can be heard as the man hits the ground. Blood can also be seen draining from the man’s ear after he hits the concrete.
When one of the officers attempted to stop and assist the man, another officer gestured for him to keep walking. Officers continued to ignore and walk past the ailing man as he lays injured on the ground.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Video shows two police officers in Buffalo, New York, shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. The sound of a crack is heard and blood trickles from the man’s head https://t.co/JOGKvPOjoD pic.twitter.com/TBqs4gelmi— Reuters (@Reuters) June 5, 2020
In wake of heightened backlash, local Buffalo officials are calling the officers to be held accountable for the man’s injuries.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz released a statement about the footage where he criticized the law enforcement agency. Although the Buffalo Police Department initially claimed the man “tripped and fell,” Poloncarz insists the video “sickens” him.
“I’ve seen videos of the incident in front of Buffalo’s City Hall in which an older protester appears to have been shoved by police, fell backwards and suffered a serious head injury. It sickens me. I’ve confirmed he is at ECMC in stable condition. My thoughts are with him now,” he tweeted.
I've seen videos of the incident in front of Buffalo's City Hall in which an older protester appears to have been shoved by police, fell backwards and suffered a serious head injury. It sickens me. I've confirmed he is at ECMC in stable condition. My thoughts are with him now.— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) June 5, 2020
As of Thursday afternoon, the two officers involved are now suspended from the Buffalo Police Department without pay. Mayor Byron Brown said that the man is “in serious but stable condition at a local hospital,” as NBC News reports.