(TMU) – In the many protests that have sprung up around the United States since the police killing of George Floyd, there have been numerous other acts of police violence caught on film, provoking even more outrage and anger about how cops interact with the community.
Some of the most shocking footage captured at these protests shows children and elderly citizens being randomly attacked by police, even if they aren’t a part of any protest.
This weekend, a shocking video was taken in Buffalo, New York, showing an elderly man senselessly thrown to the ground by a cop in riot gear, as he approached a line of officers. In the video, it appeared that 75-year-old Martin Gugino was attempting to return a helmet that another officer had recently dropped nearby, when one of the officers in the line decided to push him.
As soon as he was pushed, he quickly fell backwards to the ground and hit his head. Instantly, blood began to rush from his head and collect in a pool on the pavement.
Extremely disturbing video from [WBFO](https://twitter.com/WBFO) in Buffalo, NY.
Posted by Emma Leigh on Thursday, June 4, 2020
The video quickly spread around the internet and the actions taken by the officers in the video were unanimously condemned on social media, on both sides of the political aisle.
However, many of the other officers on the team, 57 in total, are standing by their co-workers, and have resigned from the city’s Emergency Response Team in a show of solidarity with the guilty officers, after they were suspended without pay.
#BREAKING: I’m told the entire @BPDAlerts Emergency Response Team has resigned from the team, a total of 57 officers, as a show of support for the officers who are suspended without pay after shoving Martin Gugino, 75. They are still employed, but no longer on ERT. @news4buffalo
— Dave Greber (@DaveGreber4) June 5, 2020
When asked about the large wave of resignations, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz expressed disappointment that the other officers did not see anything wrong with what happened to Mr. Gugino.
During a press conference, Poloncarz said that the city is developing contingency plans to ensure that its operations are not affected by the resignations.
“The City of Buffalo is aware of developments related to the work assignments of certain members of the Buffalo police force. At this time, we can confirm that contingency plans are in place to maintain police services and ensure public safety within our community. The Buffalo police continue to actively work with the New York State Police and other cooperating agencies,” Poloncarz said.
“If they resigned, I’m exceptionally disappointed by it because it indicates to me that they did not see anything wrong with the actions last night,” he added.
"If they resigned, I'm exceptionally disappointed by it because it indicates to me that they did not see anything wrong with the actions last night," Poloncarz said after being asked about the ERT Team resigning. pic.twitter.com/gbQ4Z7vKr5
— News 4 Buffalo (@news4buffalo) June 5, 2020
Even though these officers have resigned from the team that was deployed to suppress the demonstrations, they are still employed with the Buffalo Police Department.
Buffalo Police Benevolent Association president John Evans says that he supports the mass resignations, and also supports the officers who were suspended for using excessive force on the peaceful 75-year-old man. Evans insists that all of the officers involved were simply following orders and should not be held accountable for their actions.
“Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” Evans, said in a statement.
This excuse is often used in the defense of violent police, but it is important to remember that in the Nuremberg Trials following the Second World War, it was determined that soldiers and law enforcement officers should be held accountable for the orders that they obey.
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