BREAKING: Two cops who shoved activist, 75, 'expected to be CHARGED'

BREAKING NEWS: Two Buffalo cops who shoved peace activist, 75, are ‘expected to be CHARGED’ today as crowd of rebel colleagues led by team who resigned in disgust over their treatment gather outside court in support

  • The two cops, one of whom has been named unofficially as Aaron Torgalski, are appearing in Buffalo city court Saturday morning to face charges over the shocking incident 
  • Several hundred non-uniformed cops gathered outside court before 9a.m. to support their colleagues 
  • A Change.Org petition calling for the firing of Torgalski has gained more than 400,000 signatures  
  • Shocking footage shows a cop pushing Martin Gugino with a baton while another shoves him with his hand 
  • The elderly peace activist, 75, falls and cracks his head on the ground ending up in a ‘serious condition’  
  • The two cops were suspended without pay immediately and calls mounted for them to be fired 
  • New York Gov. Cuomo called for the city to fire and charge the officers in a press conference Friday
  • The entire 57-strong Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team resigned Friday in outrage over the treatment of the officers
  • Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown branded Gugino an ‘agitator’ Friday who was asked to leave the protest area ‘numerous times’    
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The two Buffalo cops who shoved a 75-year-old peace activist to the ground Thursday causing him to cracking his head open on the sidewalk are expected to be charged today as their team of colleagues who resigned in ‘disgust’ over their treatment have gathered outside the city court.  

The two officers, one of whom has been named unofficially as Aaron Torgalski, are to appear in city court Saturday morning to face charges over the shocking incident that left peaceful protester Martin Gugino in a ‘serious condition’ in hospital, according to two sources who spoke to 2 On Your Side. 

A large group of non-uniformed law enforcement officers had started gathering outside the court before 9a.m. in the latest show of support of their colleagues, after the entire 57-strong Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team resigned Friday in outrage at the two cops’ suspension without pay.

Several hundred cops and supporters – most of them white men not wearing face masks or practising social distancing – were pictured huddled outside the court, causing authorities to shutter the road from West Eagle to Niagara Square to traffic.  

A large group of law enforcement officers had started gathering outside the Buffalo city court before 9a.m. Saturday morning where two Buffalo cops who shoved a 75-year-old peace activist to the ground Thursday causing him to cracking his head open on the sidewalk are expected to face charges 

The crowd then moved to the holding center in front of the courthouse at around 9:30a.m. where it appeared they were being addressed by a speaker.

At one point the group broke out in raucous clapping and applause.  

Buffalo City Court Judge Craig Hannah is expected to preside over the arraignment of the officers via Skype. 

This comes as a Change.Org petition calling for the firing of Torgalski has gained more than 400,000 signatures while separate footage has surfaced of police from the same department violently tackling another protester from behind.

Outrage has been building since the footage emerged of elderly peaceful protester Gugino being pushed to the ground by the Buffalo cops, cracking his head on the sidewalk and lying unconscious and bleeding on the ground as officers continue to walk around him.

The incident has sparked massive divides between officials with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown branding the 75-year-old an ‘agitator’ who tried to work up the crowd and saying he had been asked to leave the area ‘numerous’ times in a press conference Friday afternoon. 

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has said the 75-year-old man who was shoved to the ground (pictured) by two cops on Thursday was an ‘agitator’ who tried to work up the crowd and had been asked to leave the area ‘numerous’ times

Martin Gugino, a longtime peace activist from Amherst, had been at a protest at Niagara Square near Buffalo City Hall when he was pushed. He hit his head on the ground causing it to bleed

The crowd then moved to the holding center in front of the courthouse where it appeared they were being addressed by a speaker. Several hundred people – many of them white men who are said to be non-uniformed law enforcement officers – were pictured outside the court, causing authorities to shutter the road from West Eagle to Niagara Square to traffic

This came after 57 officers on the Emergency Response Team resigned from their positions in ‘disgust’ at the treatment of their two colleagues who were suspended without pay over the incident and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calling for the city to fire the two cops and pursue criminal charges against them. 

The two cops – one who pushed Gugino with his baton and the other who pushed him with his hand causing him to fall – have not been officially named but one has been identified as Officer Aaron Torgalski by WBFO and in the Change.org petition.  

The petition has reached 436,720 signatures as of Saturday morning. It claims Gugino was ‘trying to return an officers helmet he found’ and says Torgalski was ‘abusing his power as a police officer for NO REASON’. 

An elderly man was seen approaching Buffalo police officers in riot gear outside of City Hall on Thursday

‘Aaron Torgalski should not be in control of our safety! This man does not deserve a badge! This man should not be allowed to hold a gun and carry out the law! Fire him! And the others involved!!!’ the petition reads. 

Gugino, a longtime peace activist from Amherst, had been at a protest at Niagara Square near Buffalo City Hall when he approached a line of officers in riot gear after the city’s 8pm curfew went into effect. 

The incident, which comes amid nationwide protests against police brutality, has prompted calls for the officers involved to be fired. 

The police department has also been criticized over its initial statement claiming the man had ‘tripped and fell.’ 

Mayor Brown defended the actions of the officers in his Friday press conference – less than 24 hours after he suspended them without pay.  

‘What we were informed of is that that individual was an agitator. He was trying to spark up the crowd of people. Those people were there into the darkness. Our concern is when it gets dark, there is a potential for violence,’ Brown said. 

‘There has been vandalism, there have been fires set, there have been stores broken into and looted. According to what was reported to me, that individual was a key major instigator of people engaging in those activities.’   

A Change.org petition calling for the firing of one of the cops reached 436,720 signatures as of Saturday morning

The mayor said he will not call for the two officers to be fired amid the ongoing investigation, adding it was ‘very important they get due process.’  

He also addressed the police department’s initial statement on the incident which said Gugino had ‘tripped and fell.’

‘I will be the first to say that initial communication was an error, but it was a desire to respond to media inquiries really quickly and to provide information to the community quickly,’ he said. 

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown on Friday said he would not call for the cops’ termination ahead of the investigation, saying it was important they get ‘due process’ 

Martin Gugino (pictured) is in serious but stable condition at Erie County Medical Center following the altercation with cops which left him lying in a pool of his own blood on the sidewalk in front of City Hall Thursday night

After video footage of the incident emerged, Brown said officials corrected their statement and took immediate action.

When asked about the 57 members who resigned, he said the city had ‘contingency plans’ and assured ‘Buffalo will be safe this weekend.’   

‘I want people out in our community peacefully protesting to know everyone who is peacefully protesting will be protected,’ he said. 

Earlier, the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association confirmed to the Investigative Post that all members of the department’s Emergency Response Team had resigned. 

‘Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,’ PBA president John Evans said.

The 57 officers have not resigned from the Buffalo Police Department – only the Emergency Response Team they were serving on. 

The shock move from the team came after Erie County District Attorney’s Office revealed it was investigating the officers for potential criminal liability.  

‘The Erie County District Attorney’s Office continues to investigate the incident captured on video outside City Hall Thursday evening that resulted in the injury of (a) protester,’ a spokeswoman for the office said in a statement on Friday. 

Gugino was left in a serious but stable condition at Erie County Medical Center following the altercation with the officers, which left him lying in a pool of his own blood on the sidewalk in front of City Hall.  


Shocking video showed two officers inexplicably shoving him before he staggers and falls to the ground

The sound of a crack is heard on the video before blood is seen trickling out of the man’s head. He remains lying on the ground before being rushed to hospital

On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for criminal charges to be made against the officers. 

In his daily press briefing Friday morning, Cuomo played the shocking footage which he said made him feel ‘physically sick’ in the same way the horrifying state death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has hit him over the last 90 days.

‘I was sick to my stomach… it was the same feeling I had for 90 of the past nights when I got the death tolls for coronavirus. I was physically sick to my stomach,’ he said.

The governor called for the city to fire and charge the two cops responsible for the attack on the elderly man and urged authorities to move quickly. 

‘I think the city should pursue firing and I think the DA should look at the situation for possible criminal charges and I think that should be done on an expeditious basis,’ he said. 

Cuomo urged officials to learn from the handling of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis where authorities were slammed for moving too slowly in bringing charges against the officers who killed him, sparking outrage across America.

‘We saw in Minneapolis that people want answers and they want accountability and they want it quickly,’ said Cuomo. ‘The wheels of justice move slowly – they don’t have to.

‘I would encourage the DA to not do what happened in Minneapolis, which was the delay itself caused issues.’

He pointed to mistakes made where the Minneapolis authorities suggested evidence would lead to the cops involved in Floyd’s death not facing any charges. 

‘When the DA said initially ‘there’s other evidence that suggests something else’… people don’t want vaguery… they’re upset, angry and frustrated… I would encourage the DA to move quickly and fairly and I think the mayor and police chief should pursue firing,’ he added. 


Cuomo’s outrage comes as Gugino’s (pictured) friend Terrence Bisson told Buffalo News the 75-year-old is a peaceful activist who has campaigned against several issues including nuclear disarmament, the detainment of migrant children, climate change and Guantanamo Bay

Many of the officers continued marching, while two cops leaned over to check on the man 

Cuomo praised Mayor Brown for acting quickly in suspending officers immediately Thursday night.  

‘The mayor suspended those two cops quickly and I respect that.’ 

The governor also slammed the actions of the several other officers who ignored the man and kept on walking by as he lay unconscious and bleeding on the sidewalk. 

‘Where was the threat and then you just walk by the person when you see blood coming from his head and the police officers walk by. It’s fundamentally offensive and frightening,’ he said. 

Cuomo said he he had spoken with the elderly man about the incident.  

‘I just spoke with Mr Gugino on the phone – who is that gentleman – who thankfully is alive,’ the governor said.

‘But you see that video and it disturbs your basic sense of decency and humanity,’ Cuomo said.

‘Why was that necessary? Where was the threat?’   

‘Who are we and how did we get to this place?’ he asked, before reeling off a list of horrifying incidents over the last week including cops pushing the press, police being hit with bricks and officers being violent toward protesters.  

Gugino’s friend Terrence Bisson told Buffalo News the 75-year-old is a peaceful activist who has campaigned against several issues including nuclear disarmament, the detainment of migrant children, climate change and Guantanamo Bay.

Bisson said the elderly man, who has a YouTube channel where he discusses such issues, would ‘never resist physically any kind of orders’. 

‘He’s a gentle person who really believes that he must stand up for what he thinks is right,’ he said.

‘That’s why he went to the demonstration. He would never resist physically any kind of orders,’ Bisson said. ‘He’s a bit frail, not because of his age. He has some health problems.’ 

Governor Cuomo responded to the incident on Twitter calling it ‘utterly disgraceful’ 

BUFFALO COPS COME UNDER FIRE FOR TACKLING ANOTHER PROTESTER TO THE GROUND 

As calls for Torgalski’s firing mount, a man who was aggressively tackled to the ground by multiple Buffalo cops in a separate incident in the city has spoken out slamming the cops’ use of ‘excessive force.’

Myles Carter, 30, was speaking to reporters during a protest Monday night when he was rushed from behind by a large group of cops in riot gear and thrown to the floor.

The shocking footage of the black man, who had his hands held up in the air at the time to show he was unarmed, being detained by officers was widely shared on social media. 

Carter, a father-of-five, broke his silence over the incident in a press conference Friday insisting he was protesting in a ‘peaceful, non-threatening’ way when the cops arrested him ‘unlawfully’ and using ‘excessive force.’ 

‘We were a group of protesters. We weren’t throwing bottles. We weren’t burning garbage cans. We didn’t break a curfew,’ Carter said about the activities that night. 

‘They zip-tied my hands behind my back as if I was some type of terrorist in the streets of Buffalo. The city that I help. I try to help as much as I can every day,’ he said, adding that the Buffalo police should admit they made a mistake.   

The shocking footage of Thursday night’s incident sparked outrage as protesters continue to gather across the US demanding an end to police brutality following the death of George Floyd in police custody last week.  

The video, which was taken by a reporter from local radio station WBFO, shows Gugino approaching a line of officers in riot gear outside Buffalo City Hall after the city’s 8pm curfew on Thursday.  

As he tries to speak to the officers, they immediately begin shouting at him to move along, before one of them pushes him with a baton and a second cop shoves him with his hand.  

The elderly man is then seen staggering before falling back and hitting his head on the sidewalk. 

The sound of a crack is heard and then blood is seen pouring from his head. 

In the horrifying scenes, most cops ignore Gugino who lies unresponsive and bleeding on the ground and keep marching past.  

The cop who pushed him with a baton is seen pausing to lean over him, before he is motioned away by another officer. 

Someone is then heard calling for a medic for the man. 

Gugino was taken to the hospital where he was being kept in a serious but stable condition.    

Mayor Brown initially slammed the incident saying he was ‘deeply disturbed by the video.’ 

‘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. The victim is in stable but serious condition at ECMC,’ he said in a statement late Thursday.   

‘After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, police leadership and members of the community, tonight’s event is disheartening.’  

The video has been widely shared on social media, with many calling for the police officers to be fired. 

MSNBC correspondent Joy Reid was among those who expressed outrage over the police officers failing to help the man as he lay on the ground. 

‘The rest just step over him while one calls it in. And then they grab another protester. What country is this and what century?’ she tweeted. 

Actor Kumail Nanjiani also criticized the Buffalo Police Department’s initial claim that the man tripped and fell, suggesting the cops would have likely gotten away with their actions if video hadn’t emerged. 

It comes as the NYPD, as well as police officers across the country, have come under fire for using excessive force on people protesting peacefully.  

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