The two police officers in Buffalo, New York, that were suspended without pay after assaulting a 75-year-old man have been charged with assault in the second degree by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.
The officers, 32-year-old Robert McCabe and 39-year-old Aaron Torgalski, were suspended without pay on Thursday after 75-year-old Martin Gugino was knocked down by police at a protest in Niagara Square.
Gugino was seriously injured and taken to ECMC, in a statement released through his attorney Friday he was said to be in serious but stable condition and was “alert and oriented.”
The entire force of the Buffalo Police Emergency Response Team resigned as of Friday afternoon. The 57 officers have not resigned from the department and will keep their jobs, they have only resigned from their roles on the Emergency Response Team.
A Buffalo PBA representative tells 7 Eyewitness News anchor Hannah Buehler “these officers were simply following orders given by DPC Joe Gramaglia to clear the Square.”
WKBW spoke with two of the officers who resigned from the Response Team who said the resignations weren’t a “show of support” for the two suspended officers.
“I don’t understand why the union said it’s a thing of solidarity,” said one of the officers. “I think it sends the wrong message that ‘we’re backing our own’ and that’s not the case.”
“We quit because our union said [they] aren’t legally backing us anymore,” said another. “So why would we stand on a line for the City with no legal backing if something [were to] happen? Has nothing to do with us supporting.”
— WBFO (@WBFO) June 5, 2020