BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The entire Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team has resigned from the team after the suspension of two officers involved in a caught-on-camera shove that left a man bleeding on the pavement Thursday.
That’s a total of 57 officers.
The mass resignation is a show of support for the officers who are suspended without pay after shoving 75-year-old Martin Gugino in front of Buffalo City Hall.
They are still employed, but no longer on ERT.
Mayor Byron Brown responded saying the city is aware of these resignations.
Here’s his full statement below:
“The City of Buffalo is aware of developments related to the work assignments of certain members of the Buffalo police force. At this time, we can confirm that contingency plans are in place to maintain police services and ensure public safety within our community. The Buffalo police continue to actively work with the New York State Police and other cooperating agencies.”
“If they resigned, I’m exceptionally disappointed by it because it indicates to me that they did not see anything wrong with the actions last night,” Poloncarz said after being asked about the ERT Team resigning.
We’re hearing from Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood on this announcement:
“As a longstanding member of the City of Buffalo Police Department, I know that our officers are fully committed to serving and protecting our community. While some officers have chosen to remove themselves from a voluntary assignment with the ERT, it is important to note that no officers have actually resigned from the police force,” Lockwood said. “I want to reassure our citizens that they will be protected in any peaceful gatherings that ensue and that our department remains focused on the security of our community.”
New York State Police said they are aware that the Buffalo Police Emergency Response Team resigned, and will be adding additional troopers in the region.
Mayor Byron Brown says he’s not calling for the two officers in last night’s incident to be fired because he doesn’t want to jump in front of the investigation.
That investigation is ongoing, according to the mayor.
During this afternoon’s press conference, Mayor Brown said police asked Martin Gugino to leave several times before the interaction.
When it came to addressing Buffalo Police’s initial report that Gugino tripped and fell, Brown said, “It was a very fluid situation.”
He added Commissioner Lockwood ordered the suspension of the two officers without pay immediately after they saw the video.
Mayor Brown also says the city has a contingency plan in place this weekend to keep Buffalo safe.
An attorney for Gugino, the 75-year-old man shoved by police, released this statement on his behalf:
“Mr. Gugino has been a longtime peaceful protester, human rights advocate, and overall fan of the US Constitution for many years. At this time, Mr. Gugino is in serious but stable condition. He is alert and oriented. Mr. Gugino requests privacy for himself and his family as he recovers. He appreciates all of the well wishes he has received and requests that any further protests continue to be peaceful.”