Buffalo officers CLEARED of wrongdoing after protester suffered head injury in 2020

Buffalo officers, who were suspended after pushing an an older male protester who suffered a head injury in June of 2020, were just cleared of any wrongdoing.

As a reminder, here’s the video of what happened:

This was in June of 2020, right when BLM protests and riots were raging around the country after the death of George Floyd.

Clearly the older man moved in on the police line as they were attempting to enforce a curfew.

Here’s more on them getting cleared from Buffalo News:

Two Buffalo Police officers who knocked a 75-year-old protester to the ground, causing him to suffer a head injury during a 2020 protest and drawing national criticism, were cleared Friday of wrongdoing by an arbitrator.

Arbitrator Jeffrey M. Selchick said he found that Officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe did not violate Police Department regulations and did not intend to injure Martin Gugino during the protest outside City Hall on June 4, 2020.

Torgalski and McCabe testified before the arbitrator that they were trying to protect themselves and denied that they were trying to hurt Gugino during the protest.

The officers’ use of physical force was “absolutely legitimate,” wrote Selchick, who added that, in his analysis, Gugino was “definitely not an innocent bystander.”

The arbitrator said the officers testified that they were only trying to move Gugino out of their “personal space” and physically keep Gugino away from their weapons.

Selchick said he based his findings on evidence presented during a three-day hearing in November, including a frame-by-frame analysis of a video taken by Buffalo radio reporter Michael Desmond, which went viral after the incident.

“There is no persuasive evidence, particularly when the Desmond video is reviewed in its various frames, that the Respondents sought to push or drive Gugino to the ground,” Selchick wrote.

He concluded Gugino appears to have lost his balance because he was holding objects in both hands, his advanced age or because he was surprised the officers used force to push him away.

He noted that Torgalski testified that he was concerned that Gugino was getting close to his police firearm. The officer said he was also worried that he might catch the Covid-19 virus from Gugino.

“Something wasn’t right and I don’t know what this gentlemen is capable of, but something (was) off about the situation that makes you feel uneasy,” the arbitrator quoted Torgalski as testifying. “I steadied my right arm and attempted to get him out of my space and push him away.”

Any force on his part, Torgalski testified, was “minimal,” and he said did not know what caused Gugino to fall backwards.

I am so glad these officers were cleared. The protester was clearly being aggressive in moving in on the police line and they were absolutely right to push him away so that he couldn’t attempt to get one of their weapons.

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