Buffalo, NY Mayor Byron Brown (D) has banned a riot unit involved in the injury of a 75-year-old protester he called a ‘major instigator’ and ‘agitator’ last week – resulting in felony assault charges against two officers from the Buffalo Emergency Response Team (ERT).
According to Reuters, Brown instead ordered a new police unit to handle ‘peaceful demonstrations’ without riot gear and ‘trained in civil rights.‘
Mayor Byron Brown said the Public Protection Detail would receive training in freedom of speech and other rights and would “work with leaders and participants of future protests and demonstrations to ensure the safety and security of all people.”
Two Buffalo tactical unit officers face felony assault charges for pushing Martin Gugino on Thursday when he approached them during a march against racism and police brutality amid nationwide demonstrations over the death in Minneapolis of a black man in police custody. –Reuters
On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted that the injured protester, 75-year-old Martin Gugino, “fell harder than was pushed,” and was “aiming scanner” at the police, in a viral video which showed him approaching police trying to clear an area for curfew, only to be pushed back by the two officers and land on the pavement, splitting his head.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
According to a former member of the Buffalo ERT, the officers were simply following their training.
“From my opinion and the training that I went through the officers did exactly as they were instructed,” said retired lieutenant Mark, who only gave his first name to WGRZ, adding that he was trained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Whatever supervisor it was gave orders for the ERT team members to form a line and clear that area and through the training that we got with ERT one of the things you do is you move people back. If they don’t move willingly, you move them back with force,” Mark added.
On Tuesday, Gugino told USA Today that he was out of intensive care and will be just fine.