Buffalo police riot squad quit to back officers who shoved man

(BBC) – An entire tactical unit of a US police department has quit after two officers accused of brutality were sent on unpaid leave, reports local media.

In a video that went viral on Thursday, officers in the city of Buffalo, New York, were seen shoving an elderly man to the ground.

The 75-year-old was seriously injured, and taken to hospital.

All 57 officers in the riot squad have now reportedly quit in protest at their two colleagues’ suspension.

According to the Buffalo News, the members have quit the Emergency Response Team, but not the police department.

John Evans, president of the local police union, told the newspaper: “Our position is these officers were simply following orders from Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia to clear the square.

“It doesn’t specify clear the square of men, 50 and under or 15 to 40. They were simply doing their job. I don’t know how much contact was made. He did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards.”