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New York Cops Beat Protesters for Crime of Being There

Video showed police in Buffalo shoving an older man down, his head in a pool of blood, while Brooklyn cops took out batons to enforce curfew.

Lachlan CartwrightJun. 04, 2020 10:36 PM ET

Peaceful protests in New York took a dark turn late Thursday as graphic video emerged of an elderly man being knocked to the ground by police in Buffalo and protesters in New York City were confronted with swarms of police officers using heavy-handed tactics to enforce a statewide 8 p.m. curfew. 

The shocking incident in Niagara Square occurred outside City Hall, where video posted by local media shows the man approaching police as they attempt to clear the square only to be violently shoved. He then falls backwards and slams his head into the ground, left seemingly unconscious as protesters can be heard screaming “he’s bleeding out of his ear.”  

Buffalo police later released a statement saying they had arrested four people and that a fifth person was arrested during a skirmish with other protesters.

Cops claimed in the statement “during that skirmish involving protesters, one person was injured when he tripped & fell.” 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted about the incident, saying it “sickens” him. He said the man seen in the video is in stable condition and being treated at a local hospital. 

Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood initially told The Daily Beast authorities were “looking into” the shoving incident, though he said he hadn’t seen the video. Moments later, he ordered the immediate suspension of the two officers involved.

Meanwhile, in the Bronx and Brooklyn large groups of cops were captured on video enforcing the curfew with force, using batons on protesters who had been demonstrating peacefully. 

The crackdown came after city leaders had spent much of the day defending the NYPD against accusations of excessive force.