Story at a glance

  • An elderly man was shoved by a police officer in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, resulting in an apparent head injury.
  • Two officers have since been suspended without pay, and calls for officers on the scene to be fired are growing.
  • As of Friday afternoon, more than 260,000 people had signed the petition, which aims to get 300,000 signatures.

More than 260,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the termination of the Buffalo police officer who pushed a 75-year-old protester to the ground, causing him to fall back and hit his head on the pavement.

The elderly man was shoved by a police officer in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, resulting in an apparent head injury that caused the man to bleed from one of his ears. 


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In a video shot by a WBFO journalist, the man is seen approaching police during an anti-police brutality demonstration prompted by the death of George Floyd. The authors of the petition say the man was trying to return an officer’s helmet. 

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One officer then tells the man to move and pushes him. The man is seen lying on his back and appeared to be unconscious with blood coming from his head as someone yells, “He’s bleeding out of his ear!” 

One officer is seen stopping to check on the protester, but another officer pulls him away as other officers continue to walk past the man on the ground and arrest another demonstrator. 

The man was taken to a hospital where he is in stable but serious condition, according to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. 

Two officers have since been suspended without pay, and now calls are growing for officers on the scene to be fired.

The Change.org petition identifies the officer who pushed the man as officer Aaron Torgalski. 

“Aaron Torgalski pushed an elderly man who was trying to return an officer's helmet he found clearly,” The description in the petition reads. “Torgalski was clearly abusing his power as a police officer for NO REASON. Other officers were encouraging officer Torgalski to push him. The push was strong enough to make the old man fall backwards and crack his head and start bleeding. AaronTorgalski [sic] should not be in control of our safety!”

As of Friday afternoon, more than 275,000 people had signed the petition that aims to get 300,000 signatures.


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Published on Jun 05, 2020