While there have been instances of real hope and optimism, from young organisers delivering water to police and police taking a knee in support of protestors, these are sadly overshadowed by the more ugly scenes happening on a day to day basis.
The latest of which comes from Buffalo, New York, as police officers were seen pushing an elderly man back while enforcing curfew, causing him to fall over and hit his head on the sidewalk and bleed from his ear.
The incident occurred on Thursday at the end of a protest in Niagara Square, according to CBS affiliate WIVB. The man was eventually taken away from the scene by an ambulance. A source told WIVB that the man who fell in the video suffered from a laceration and a possible concussion.
In the video, the man can be seen approaching a group of heavily-armed officers in riot gear.
Officers can be heard yelling, “Move!” while others are then heard chanting, “Push him back! Push him back!
The man takes several steps backwards, then falls over backward, his head audibly smacking against the sidewalk. He is then seen laying motionless on the ground with blood coming out of his right year.
“He’s bleeding out his ear,” someone can be heard saying.
Initially, police said ‘one person tripped’ during the incident in Niagara Square, though as more footage emerged it became clear the officers pushed the man.
According to some at the scene, the 75-year-old was trying to return a helmet to the police officers.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown tweeted on Thursday night that the elderly man was in “stable but serious condition” at the Erie County Medical Center Hospital. He said he was “deeply disturbed” by the video.
“Tonight, after a physical altercation between two separate groups of protesters participating in an illegal demonstration beyond the curfew, two Buffalo Police officers knocked down a 75-year-old man… After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, Police leadership and members of the community, tonight’s event is disheartening,” Brown said. “I hope to continue to build on the progress we have achieved as we work together to address racial injustice and inequity in the City of Buffalo.”
In a tweet, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the incident “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.” He said he and Mayor Brown agreed that, “the officers involved should be immediately suspended pending a formal investigation.”
“Police officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law,” Cuomo added.
Mayor Brown later said Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood has ordered an immediate investigation into the matter, and the two officers involved have been suspended without pay.
Again, absolutely shocking scenes coming out of the US, no doubt further damaging their reputation around the world.
Hard to see them as the leaders of the free world when they can’t even sort their own house out, isn’t it?
Charismatic, witty, charming, engaging - four things Joshua Rogers will never be. Thankfully, he’s a semi-competent editor, who, after graduating university with two mostly pointless degrees, joined The Hook two years ago. He subsequently honed his writing skills over several features and investigative pieces, arguably letting The Hook audience in on way too much of his personal life.