Officers accused of assaulting elderly protestor cleared of all charges

Criminal charges have been dropped against two New York police officers captured on video shoving an elderly protestor in Spring 2020.

The footage captured global attention, as a long-needed spotlight was shone on America’s police brutality issue and its relation to race. The incident was taped at one of several Black Lives Matter protests that swept across the USA from early June onwards, erupted by fury at the killing of George Floyd.

What happened?

Officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were captured on video shoving a peaceful, elderly protestor to the ground as he was walking towards them.

The man, Martin Gugino (75), was then seen lying on the ground, bleeding from the head. He spent almost a month in the hospital with a fractured skull.

Graphic Content: A 75 year old protestor was assaulted by police officers in June 2020. | Source: DW News

After days, the two officers were suspended without pay and arrested on charges of aggravated assault. They pleaded not guilty and were released without bail.

The Buffalo Police Department began an internal investigation into the assault, causing almost 60 other members of the crowd control unit to resign in solidarity with the two officers.

Criminal charges

On Thursday 11th February 2021, a grand jury declined to indict the former officers on felony assault charges, and the case was dropped.

The president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association said: “We are ecstatic with their decision. These officers have been put through hell and I look forward to seeing them back.

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