Watch CBS News

Buffalo Mayor Speaks Out About 75-Year-Old Protester Shoved By Police: 'I Don't Believe Common Sense Was Used'

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - The mayor of Buffalo is speaking out about the troubling video of police officers shoving 75-year-old protester Martin Gugino to the ground, causing him to bleed from the head.

In an interview with Jeff Glor on CBS This Morning Saturday, Mayor Byron Brown said the incident was "horrific."

Gugino is recovering. He had been in critical condition.

GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS

"I don't believe common sense was used. I don't believe the push was necessary. Officers, though, that were involved in that incident, do deserve their day in court, like every American who is charged with anything deserves their day in court," Brown said.

LINK: Watch the full interview

Buffalo Police Officers Robert McCabe And Aaron Torgalski
Robert McCabe, left, and Aaron Torgalski (credit: Erie County District Attorney's Office)

The officers involved in the incident have since been charged with felony assault after being suspended without pay. Following their suspension, 57 members of the city's special response unit resigned from the team - but not the department.

"We lost that unit because of a threat from the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association," Brown said.

He said that the union threatened to revoke coverage for any person who stayed on the team.

"I think that that is unconscionable, for a union to treat 57 dues-paying members in that way," Brown said.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump put out a tweet suggesting Gugino might be an "ANTIFA provocateur" who "fell harder than was pushed," adding "could be a set up?"

In response, Brown replied tweeting his city was "laser focused on healing, taking action against racial injustice and building a good future for our residents. We pray for a full recovery for Mr. Gugino and as I have repeatedly said, the two officers deserve due process."

PHOTO GALLERY: George Floyd's Death Prompts Days Of Protests In NYC

Glor asked Brown why he replied in the way he did.

"I think we have to go out of our way right now to show our respect and call people into being part of the solution," he said. "As a leader, it's critically important for me to show respect, for me to model the behavior that I want every single resident of this community to exhibit."

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.