The two police officers who were filmed shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground have pleaded not guilty after being charged with assault.
Officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski have been charged with assault on Saturday after pushing Martin Gugino, 75, to the ground and causing him to bleed from his head.
As seen in the footage taken at the time of the incident, Gugino appeared to have peacefully approached the marching police force when the cops in question shoved him away causing him to fall and crack his head.
While the officers’ colleagues greeted Torgalski and McCabe with loud cheering as they were released from the court without bail, the cops face up to 7 years in jail if they are found guilty of committing a class D felony.
According to DA John Flynn, the police officers “violated the law” as they assaulted “a harmless 75-year-old man” who attempted to return a police helmet according to the change.org petition that wants to see officer Torgalski get fired.
Flynn has also explained that the officers are facing a felony charge due to the fact that the victim is older than 65 years.
“Some may say I’m choosing sides here by arresting and prosecuting police officers and I say that is ridiculous. I’m not choosing sides… I’m on this country’s side,” the DA said.
According to the reports, Gugino was rushed to the hospital in a “serious condition” after falling to the ground.
As the senior’s friend, Terrence Bisson, insisted in an interview with Buffalo News, Gugino is “a gentle person” and a passionate activist who “would never resist physically any kind of orders.”
“He’s a gentle person who really believes that he must stand up for what he thinks is right,” Bisson told Buffalo News.
“That’s why he went to the demonstration. He would never resist physically any kind of orders … He’s a bit frail, not because of his age. He has some health problems.”
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