The incident happened on Thursday, June 4, following protests in Buffalo, New York, and the incident was captured on video.
In the video shared online, the 75-year-old man is seen falling backwards and hitting his head on the steps of Buffalo City Hall after he was pushed by police.
Initially, it was claimed that he stumbled and fell but the video told a different story and two police officers involved have been suspended without pay.
After the man fell, one of the officers tried to go back and help him but the other stopped him. Spectators can be heard screaming that the man is bleeding but the officers concentrated on physically assaulting another man.
The man was eventually taken away from the scene by an ambulance. A source told WIVB that the man who fell in the video suffered from a laceration and a possible concussion.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown tweeted on Thursday night that the elderly man was in “stable but serious condition” at the Erie County Medical Center Hospital. He said he was “deeply disturbed” by the video.
Brown said: “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… 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.”
Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo also condemned the action of the officers involved, writing: “This incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful. I’ve spoken with Buffalo @MayorByronBrown and we agree that the officers involved should be immediately suspended pending a formal investigation. Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law.”
Buffalo Police Department Captain Jeff Rinaldo told CBS News later Thursday night that “the Police Commissioner has immediately suspended two officers without pay in connection with the incident observed in the video.”
Rinaldo said the department has launched an internal affairs investigation.
Below is a video of the incident.