In Buffalo, some of the problem might well be a mob mayor…a city run by the Gambino family…with their own private police force
This story was published in partnership with Investigative Post, a non-profit investigative reporting center in Buffalo, New York.
It’s the shove seen round the world: two Buffalo cops push a demonstrator who falls, slams his head on the pavement, and immediately begins to bleed from the ears.
#MartinGugino, the 75 year old man knocked to the ground by police in Buffalo, is a longtime peace activist and a member of the Catholic Worker, a community dedicated to justice and peace, founded by Servant of God Dorothy Day, who also took to the streets to advocate for justice pic.twitter.com/l1YQKZFuRw
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) June 6, 2020
City officials wasted no time in suspending the two officers seen on the video shoving the demonstrator, who, it turns out, is 75 years old and fighting cancer.
Suffice to say, this is not a good look for the police.
Buffalo Police Officers who pushed a 75 years old protester to the ground to be charged this morning.
— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) June 6, 2020
But never ones to back down—Buffalo cops can be a belligerent bunch—they responded by organizing a mass resignation of the 57 officers from the team designated to deal with protests and other large crowds. They are keeping their jobs, but giving up their assignments on what is considered an elite response team. Rank and file are said to be disgruntled, as well.
WARNING: Images show violence and suffering
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) June 6, 2020
John Evans, president of the Police Benevolent Association, emailed his membership and characterized the suspensions this way: “They tried to fuck over these guys like I have never seen in my 54 years.”
Here's what Buffalo's mayor said to excuse his cops almost killing a 75-year old man. He's using Martin Gugino's extensive PEACEFUL activism to excuse outright abuse.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) June 6, 2020
As shocking as this all may be to outsiders, the shoving of demonstrator Martin Gugino and the defiant response of officers to an effort to discipline two of their own is indicative of the state of police affairs in Buffalo. Has been for a long time, not that you have to go back too far to find other episodes of brutality that have been captured on video.
On Monday, a line of Buffalo police charged demonstrators, including one attacked from behind as he calmly stood for an interview with a local television station. He wound up spending the night in jail. read more…