Buffalo, NY — In the course of the last several days, countless incidents of police violence have been documented with many of them going unnoticed in the mainstream. One case out of Buffalo, New York, however, is getting a lot of attention due to the unnecessary and disturbing nature of how it unfolded.
An innocent elderly man 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.
It appears the officer who shoved the elderly man was named A, Torgalski as his name tag was clearly visible in the video at the 14 second mark. As Torgalski notices he's on camera, he quickly covers his face and lowers his head. However, it was too late — he'd been caught.
Though the police department hasn't officially identified him, a Change.org petition demanding that Buffalo police fire Torgalski now has thousands of signatures. Government salaries.com says, “Aaron Torgalski M in 2018 was employed in City Of Buffalo and had annual salary of $81,419.” With overtime, this cops likely makes well over $100,000 to shove elderly men to the ground causing them grave harm.
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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. The man is in serious, but stable condition at ECMC as of Thursday night, reportedly with a concussion and lacerations. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said based on the information he was given, the man is expected to recover.
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 at 8:50 p.m. Thursday 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.
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Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown issued the following statement at 11:05 p.m., saying he was "deeply disturbed by the video":
“Tonight, after a physical altercation between two separate groups of protesters participating in an illegal demonstration beyond the curfew, two Buffalo Police officers knocked down a 75-year-old man. The victim is in stable but serious condition at ECMC. I was deeply disturbed by the video, as was Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood. He directed an immediate investigation into the matter, and the two officers have been suspended without pay. After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, Police leadership and members of the community, tonight’s event is disheartening. I hope to continue to build on the progress we have achieved as we work together to address racial injustice and inequity in the City of Buffalo. My thoughts are with the victim tonight.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a tweet, called the incident "wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful."
New York Civil Liberties Union, in a statement, said "the casual cruelty demonstrated by Buffalo police officers tonight is gut-wrenching and unacceptable." Buffalo Chapter Director John Curr added, "We are in solidarity with Buffalo’s protesters and demand that demonstrators can protest without the threat of police brutality on the streets tomorrow."
"Simply put, the officers must be held responsible for their actions, not just fired," said Poloncarz, in a tweet.
"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 are 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? That cop is still on the job.
Your virtue signalling is a little late.