Two police officers in Buffalo, New York have been suspended without pay after pushing a 75-year-old activist, Martin Gugino, to the ground during the George Floyd demonstrations, with the incident caught on video. Gugino is recovering at the hospital after a head injury.

A graphic video of the incident went viral on Twitter after a local radio station, WBFO, posted it. The video shows Gugino walking up to two police officers on Niagara Square, the police officers yelling, “Push him back.” One of the officers then pushes Gugino to the ground with force. Gugino fell down on the pavement, his head started bleeding. While he laid motionless, police officers proceeded walking without checking on him. One officer attempted to kneel down to check on Gugino but was pulled away by another officer and walked away. Meanwhile, witnesses started shouting: “He is bleeding from his ears!” and “Get a medic!”

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said in his Thursday night statement that he was “deeply disturbed by the video.” Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood ordered an investigation of the matter, while the officers were suspended without pay.

The police initially said in a statement that Gugino “tripped and fell” but after reviewing the video, Commissioner Lockwood said he decided to suspend the officers. The Erie County District Attorney Office also released a statement, confirming the ongoing investigative process.

The Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said that the video “sickens” him. He tweeted Friday morning that Gugino was in serious but stable condition and said to be “alert and oriented.”

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also condemned the actions of the police officers in his Twitter post, after seeing the video.

“This incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful,” Cuomo tweeted. “Police Officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law.”

Gugino has been identified as a longtime local peace activist from Amherst, N.Y. As an activist, Gugino has been involved in a number of social issues such as nuclear disarmament, climate change and Guantanamo Bay.

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