Buffalo, NY — As TFTP reported at the time, a case out of Buffalo, New York received a lot of attention due to the unnecessary and disturbing nature of how it unfolded. A75-year-old man, Martin Gugino was shoved down so hard that his injuries landed him in the hospital for over a month. The two cops who shoved him were suspended and arrested as a result and following their discipline the entire Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team resigned in support of those two cops.
In total, 57 officers threw a collective temper tantrum, for their right to attack innocent elderly men with impunity.
And impunity is what they got. Over the weekend, an arbitrator ruled that officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski violated no policies when they shoved the frail 75-year-old man down so hard that he cracked his skull and began bleeding from his ears.
Arbitrator Jeffrey Selchick wrote, "Upon review, there is no evidence to sustain any claim that Respondents [police officers] had any other viable options other than to move Gugino out of the way of their forward movement."
As TFTP reported, Gugino was on the sidewalk attempting to return one of the officer's helmets he had found. The officers then walked up to him and shoved him to the ground. The impact of the elderly man's head was so hard that he immediately began bleeding from the ears and was knocked unconscious.
After the cops shoved him, they looked down, noticed he was bleeding from the ears and kept walking — leaving the elderly man lying there on the pavement, bleeding.
After the assault, according to WBFO, two medics came forward and treated him. They helped put him in an ambulance and he was taken away. He spent the following month in the hospital as he was treated for a severe head injury.
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After the incident made it to the news, Buffalo police put out a ridiculous statement claim the elderly man tripped.
A Buffalo Police spokesman issued a statement saying "a 5th person was arrested during a skirmish with other protestors and also charged with disorderly conduct. During that skirmish involving protestors, one person was injured when he tripped & fell."
However, after the video was posted online, exactly 23 minutes later by WBFO, department officials changed their tone and said a full Internal Affairs investigation was underway and that Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood had ordered the immediate suspension of the two officers involved, without pay.
After they were cleared, Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said in a statement that he will reinstate the two officers to duty on Monday.
At the time, New York Civil Liberties Union, in a statement, said "the casual cruelty demonstrated by Buffalo police officers is gut-wrenching and unacceptable."
"Simply put, the officers must be held responsible for their actions, not just fired," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, in a tweet at the time. Sadly, they were not.
"The video was deeply disturbing and the actions taken were wrong. We need a prompt investigation and full accountability," said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D), in a statement.
While these criticisms from politicians were certainly warranted, where were their comments when Leslie Furcron, an innocent grandmother, was shot in the head with a rubber bullet? Or when Austin Police shot a child in the head with a rubber bullet? What about when the same department shot an innocent student in the head with a projectile and then opened fire on the people helping him? Or, what about the other elderly man in Salt Lake City who was shoved to the ground by cops for standing on a sidewalk? Like these two cops will be today, that cop is still on the job.