After George Floyd

Buffalo officers cleared up wrongdoing after pushing protester, 75, to the ground

BUFFALO, NY – An arbitrator ruled that two Buffalo police officers officers did not violate the department’s use of force guidelines when they pushing a 75-year-old protester to the ground in June 2020 during racial injustice protests after the murder George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The episode caught the attention of the whole country when a news group shoots a video Martin Gugino is shoved by officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski in downtown Buffalo, as crowd control officers in riot gear clear protesters into an 8 p.m. curfew.

Gugino, pushed backwards, started bleeding after hitting his head on the pavement and was hospitalized for about a month with traumatic brain injuries and concussion.

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In a decision Friday, arbitrator Jeffrey Selchick wrote, “After consideration, there is no evidence to support any claim that Respondent (police officer) had any viable options. nothing else but to move Gugino out of their path of movement.”

The level of force used by the officers was justified because Gugino refused to comply with orders to leave the scene and acted erratically, and went straight in front of McCabe, according to Selchick.

“The use of force employed by Respondents reflects the part they have no intention of doing more than get Gugino away from them,” he wrote.

McCabe and Torgalski were prohibit unpaid and arrested within days of the incident, but last year a grand jury refused to charge them and the charges were dropped.

An attorney for Gugino, who was to sue city, told Buffalo News that the judgment has nothing to do with the case.

“We are not aware of any cases where this arbitrator has ruled against police officers on duty, so his judgment here on behalf of the police is not only passed on to us. expected, but also expected by the union and the city, who selected and paid for him. ,” Melissa Wischerath told the newspaper.

Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said in a statement that he would put the two officers on duty on Monday, the newspaper reported.

Email messages seeking comment were left Sunday with an attorney representing the city, who contested the disciplinary charges, and with the Buffalo police union.

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