A grand jury has moved to dismiss the case against two Buffalo Police Department officers for pushing an elderly citizen in June.
"At the end of the grand jury, the grand jurors voted to no-bill the case. Which means that they dismissed the case," Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said.
The incident in question took place on June 4, 2020 near Niagara Square in Buffalo, New York. A group of officers can be seen walking toward Niagara Square to break up a protest. As the crowd moved toward Niagara Square, a 75-year-old man named Martin Gugino can be seen standing in the vicinity hoping to persuade the officers not to break up the protest. Standing with his hands up in the air, video from WBFO appears to show two officers, Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, pushing Gugino to the ground. From there, some officers are seen walking by as Gugino lay on the ground in a pool of his own blood.
In the aftermath of the incident, Gugino was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a fractured skull. The 75-year-old reportedly struggled to walk two weeks after the incident. Gugino spent four weeks in the hospital before being released.
As video of the incident made its way around social media, outrage only grew. Protesters called for McCabe and Torgalski to be fired and critics pointed out that many officers walked by without checking on Gugino. McCabe and Torgalski were suspended, but the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association maintained that the officers were innocent.
"As we have stated all along, Officers McCabe and Torgalski were simply following departmental procedures and the directives of their superiors to clear Niagara Square despite working under extremely challenging circumstances," John Evans of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association.
The decision handed down, falls in line with many of the outcomes from the summer of protests in 2020. No officers were charged in the killing of Breonna Taylor and no officers will be charged for shooting Jacob Blake Jr.
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