Local TV news reporter Dave Greber tweeted that 57 Buffalo police officers have resigned to show support for two fellow officers who were suspended for their actions at a George Floyd protest.
A graphic trending video captured by the NPR affiliate WBFO shows two police officers shoving a 75-year-old protester in Buffalo, New York, to the ground.
At first, a Buffalo Police Department representative said in a statement that a person was "injured when he tripped and fell."
The officers have since been suspended without pay.
A team of 57 Buffalo police officers resigned en masse on Friday to show support for two colleagues who were suspended without pay following their aggressive behavior at a George Floyd protest.
A graphic trending video captured Thursday by the NPR affiliate WBFO shows two police officers shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground and walking away. The two officers were suspended without pay.
The video also shows the officers' colleagues walking past the protester, who doesn't get up, as blood pours from his ears and onto the sidewalk.
The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association told the Investigative Post that dozens of their colleagues were so unhappy with the suspensions that they resigned from their posts.
"Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders," said John Evans, the union's president, told the news outlet.
While the 57 officers resigned from the unit, they remain members of the police force, according to Spectrum News.
—Dave Greber (@DaveGreber4) June 5, 2020
The video showing 75-year-old Martin Gugino being pushed to the ground is one of many documented incidents of police aggression during the national George Floyd protests.
In the video, the man can be seen approaching a group of officers in riot gear.
As the man approaches, two officers can be seen pushing the man backward. One officer is seen using his baton to force the man backward, while another officer can be seen shoving the man's chest.
An initial statement from a Buffalo Police Department representative said that five people were arrested after the day's protests in Niagara Square. The police said that during a "skirmish" with other protesters, a person was "injured when he tripped and fell."
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told Spectrum News that "contingency plans are in place to maintain police services and ensure public safety within our community" despite the mass resignation.
Neither the Buffalo Police Department nor the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association immediately responded to Insider's requests for comment.
New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a statement Friday about the disturbing video, in which she noted that the protester was seriously injured.
"The video captured on June 4th shows what appears to be a horrific display of abuse and lack of concern for New Yorkers by the Buffalo Police Department," she said in the written statement. "My office supports the investigation by the Erie County District Attorney's Office, and we stand by ready to assist should they need it."
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