2 Buffalo police officers were charged with assault – Insider
Two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault Saturday after they were seen shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd, prosecutors said.
Two Buffalo, New York police officers were charged with assault Saturday after they were seen in a viral video shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground one day earlier during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.
DA John Flynn said that Aaron Torglaski, 39, and Robert McCabe, 32, were virtually arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Hannah. They pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault and were released without bail.
Both are scheduled to return on July 20 for a felony hearing, the office wrote in a tweet.
Flynn said at a news conference after the arraignment that he could have announced the charges a day earlier, but “didn’t want to pour gasoline on the fire,” according to CNN.
“I could have done this yesterday,” Flynn said on Saturday, CNN reported. “I found out that the entire emergency response team of the Buffalo Police Department had quit and they weren’t going to come out last night to protect the city of Buffalo.”
He reportedly said he was “concerned about the safety of the city” and “of the officers last night” as protests continued in the city.
Gugino was reported to be “alert and oriented” while recovering at an area hospital, his attorney told Buffalo’s WGRZ.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown called Gugino “a key and major instigator of” the looting, vandalism, and fires that sprung up alongside the protests.
“He was in the area after the curfew,” Brown said Friday, WBEN reported. “One of the things that happened before was conflict among protesters and there was a danger of fights breaking out, and police felt it was important to clear that scene for the safety of protesters.”
In an original statement, Buffalo police said Gugino “tripped and fell” during a confrontation with officers.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement issued Friday that the video captured “a horrific display of abuse and lack of concern for New Yorkers by the Buffalo Police Department.”
“My office supports the investigation by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, and we stand by ready to assist should they need it,” James wrote.