Charges dropped against Buffalo officers who pushed 75-year-old protester

Charges have been dropped against two police officers in Buffalo, N.Y., who pushed a 75-year-old protester during a demonstration against police brutality and racial injustice last year.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced during a news conference on Thursday that a grand jury voted to dismiss the case against officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski.

The officers were charged with felony second-degree assault after being seen in footage last June pushing 75-year-old Martin Gugino during a protest against the death of George Floyd.

ADVERTISEMENT

Video of the incident showed Gugino approaching the officers, getting pushed back, falling back and hitting the ground, with blood then pooling by his head.

Flynn said Thursday that he brought the charges because under state law if there's an “intentional act” involving a victim 65 years old or older and a perpetrator who is 10 years younger it's a felony.

“A full grand jury presentation was given, and at the end of the grand jury, the grand jurors voted to 'no bill' the case, which means that they dismissed the case,” Flynn said.

He added that the viral video “speaks for itself” while maintaining that officers could have handled the situation differently.

“Mr. Gugino committed a crime that day, he violated curfew. He had no business approaching the police officer, he had no business being on those steps at all, or there at City Hall,” Flynn said. “All that had to be done here, was grab Mr. Gugino, gently turn him around, put the handcuffs on him and walk him peacefully off the steps.”