I’m sure you’ve all seen the video of a 75 year-old man being pushed down by Buffalo Police in riot gear Thursday night. By the way, that man, Martin Gugino, is a peace activist undergoing chemotherapy. He’s awake, alert and oriented as of the last report I saw. The officers who did it were suspended after the video surfaced, but not before the Buffalo Police issued a statement that he had tripped and fallen. This video is a two-fer, because it not only shows that cops will push down old people, but that they’ll walk right by them even when they’re bleeding, instead of rendering aid. I think it was that latter action that really made this a damning video. If they had immediately stopped and tried to help the guy, maybe the rest of this story would have turned out somewhat differently.
Yesterday, reacting to the head of the police union’s goading, 57 Buffalo cops resigned from the special unit. That union head is a real piece of work:
“Our position is these officers were simply following orders from Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia to clear the square,” said Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans. “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.”
That made it a three-fer, because those cops demonstrated that they will stick to a lie no matter what, that they will try to hold a city hostage by quitting their special assignments when they might be needed the most instead of letting the process play out, and that giving cops an order to do something justifies, in the mind of their union leaders, any tactics whatsoever.
Here’s the thing: New York State has plenty of resources to fill in for those 57. Those cops can now hand out parking tickets and ride the desk filing paperwork until hell won’t have it anymore, and we’ll be fine. The union heads, locked in a MAGA bubble that doesn’t understand that people are sick of being scared for their lives every time they encounter a cop, and the cops who follow them, are playing this entirely wrong.