ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the city of Buffalo should consider firing the officers involved in a now-viral video of police pushing a 75-year-old protester to the concrete where he laid for several minutes with blood pooling under his skull.
Cuomo's comments come as Albany weighs a suite of police reforms following a tumultuous week of civil unrest and nightly dispatches from the streets of New York City showing clashes between police and protesters. Thursday morning he said he hadn’t seen recent videos of police exhibiting undue violence. By Thursday afternoon he was calling for an investigation of of police abuses.
Friday he said watching the footage from Buffalo made him physically ill.
“I was sick to my stomach,” Cuomo said during his daily briefing in Albany. “It was the same feeling I’ve had for 90 of the last nights when we had the death toll from the coronavirus.”
Cuomo said he spoke with the man “who thankfully is alive” Friday morning. Martin Gugino is in serious but stable condition at Erie County Medical Center, according to local reports.
Buffalo police had initially issued a statement Thursday saying the man tripped and fell, but when the video from local radio station WBFO began to circulate across the globe, local and state leaders stepped in.
Cuomo said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown acted “quickly and appropriately” in suspending the officers Thursday evening. The governor also released a statement Thursday night calling the incident “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful” and calling for police to "enforce - NOT ABUSE - the law."
Cuomo said firing the officers is a difficult situation that involves union contracts with the city, but that officials should “pursue” that course and that the district attorney should “look at the situation for possible criminal charges” as soon as possible.
He referenced the lag in addressing those responsible for George Floyd’s death in Minnesota.
“We saw in Minneapolis that people want answers and they want accountability and they want it quickly,” he said. “The wheels of justice move slow? Well they don’t have to. They can move fast. You can turn the crank faster.”
Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2020/06/05/cuomo-presses-buffalo-to-pursue-firing-officers-who-shoved-protester-in-viral-video-1291436