Two Buffalo policemen charged for shoving 75-year-old protester

(BBC) – Two US policemen have been charged with second-degree assault after they were filmed pushing a 75-year old protester to the ground, seriously injuring him.

Aaron Torgalski, 39, and Robert McCabe, 32, pleaded not guilty in Buffalo, New York. They were released without bail, and face up to seven years in prison.

On Thursday, they were seen shoving Martin Gugino, who fell backwards on the pavement and started bleeding.

He remains in a local hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The two officers were enforcing a curfew in the city as a result of protests since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis last month.

Aaron Torgalski (left) and Robert McCabeImage copyrightEPA
Image captionAaron Torgalski (left) and Robert McCabe have been supported by their colleagues

Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, members of the Emergency Response Team, were suspended without pay after footage of the incident outside the City Hall went viral.

Fifty-seven of their colleagues – the entire unit – later resigned from the team in response to the officers’ suspension.

On Saturday, a crowd of more than 100 supporters – including police officers and firefighters – protested outside the courthouse in Buffalo against the assault charges filed.

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