A 75-year-old man was hospitalized Thursday evening after two Buffalo police officers knocked him down during a protest over the police killing of George Floyd. Those two officers have been suspended and an internal investigation is underway.
Video shows the man approaching a line of Buffalo Police officers enforcing the city's 8 p.m. curfew. He exchanges words with two of the officers, who yell at him to get back, and then one officer shoves him. The man falls backward and his head slams onto the pavement. Numerous officers walk by him as blood pools around his head.
— WBFO (@WBFO) June 5, 2020
The Buffalo Police Department initially issued a press release saying that "one protester was injured when he tripped and fell."
Later Thursday night, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown tweeted that he was "deeply disturbed by the video, as was Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood."
"After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, Police leadership and members of the community, tonight's event is disheartening," Brown added. "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. My thoughts are with the victim tonight."
Brown wrote that the man is "in stable but serious condition" at a local hospital.
Lockwood suspended the two main officers involved without pay and has ordered an investigation into the incident.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote in a tweet that the incident was "wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful."
The man is not the first elderly victim of police violence during the protests over the killing of George Floyd. Widely shared video showed police in Salt Lake City shoving an elderly man with a cane to the ground:
The chyron literally says "Protests turn violent in Salt Lake City" pic.twitter.com/Mp3cZvxZmR
— Philip N Cohen (@familyunequal) June 4, 2020