icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Charges DISMISSED against two Buffalo cops for ‘assault’ on 75-year-old protester who broke his skull in fall

Charges DISMISSED against two Buffalo cops for ‘assault’ on 75-year-old protester who broke his skull in fall
Two Buffalo, New York police officers escaped criminal charges for shoving an elderly man during last year’s George Floyd protests. Their indictment for breaking his skull prompted the resignation of the city’s riot police unit.

Second-degree assault charges against officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe were dismissed, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced on Thursday. They remain on suspension and still face an internal disciplinary investigation, however.

The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association was “extremely pleased” that a grand jury decided to dismiss the charges, adding that McCabe and Torgalski “were simply following departmental procedures and the directives of their superiors to clear Niagara Square despite working under extremely challenging circumstances,” according to a statement quoted by WGRZ-TV.

The two officers were charged in early June 2020, after a video emerged of them confronting the 75-year-old Martin Gugino and pushing him away. Gugino, a social justice activist well known in the community, struck the pavement with his head and suffered a skull fracture, spending several days in hospital. 

Also on rt.com GRAPHIC VIDEO shows officers pushing protester, knocking him UNCONSCIOUS, then claim he ‘tripped’

As video of the incident made rounds on social media, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo denounced their behavior as “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful,” demanding that they be fired. There was tremendous public pressure on the police, in the light of Black Lives Matter protests spreading across the US in the wake of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minnesota the week prior.

Members of the Buffalo PD’s Emergency Response Team reacted to the charging of their colleagues as well, however. All 57 of them resigned from the unit, while staying on with the department.

Also on rt.com ENTIRE emergency response team of Buffalo Police Department resigns over suspension of cops who pushed elderly protester

In an ironic twist, Cuomo’s Covid-19 lockdown prevented the grand jury from convening to investigate the charges for months, and once it was able to meet, Flynn said he had “higher priority cases” to handle.

The two officers are "still suspended pending the conclusion of the internal investigation," according to a city spokesperson. It is unclear whether they will be reinstated or let go.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts