Two Buffalo police officers caught on camera shoving an elderly protester to the ground — fracturing his skull — have been cleared of wrongdoing in the incident.
A state arbitrator ruled Friday that Officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe didn’t violate department use-of-force guidelines when they pushed longtime activist Martin Gugino, 75, to the ground during a George Floyd protest outside City Hall in June 2020, the Buffalo News reported.
Video of the encounter showed the officers yell at Gugino to move away from City Hall after a curfew went into effect before one cop pushed him, causing him to fall backward and slam his head into the pavement. He spent about a month in the hospital recovering from a fractured skull and brain injury.
The officers testified before an arbitrator that they were trying to protect themselves at the time and denied trying to hurt Gugino. Arbitrator Jeffrey Selchick ruled the use of force was “absolutely legitimate” and that Gugino was “definitely not an innocent bystander,” the Buffalo News reported.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Joshua Rhett Miller