Our legal system has once again sent the message that cops can bully-foot the entire world so long as they can say their actions were carried out in the line of duty.
It’s hard to imagine any scenario where charges will be dropped for any civilian who pushed a 75-year-old man to the ground and left him in the hospital for a month with a skull fracture and brain injury. But two police officers in Buffalo, New York, did that exact thing on camera during a Black Lives Matter protest shortly after the murder of George Floyd in 2020, and on Friday, it was announced that they had been cleared of all wrongdoing because the senior citizen who posed no threat to the officers didn’t immediately comply with their demands to move out of the way.
According to the Independent, it has been ruled that Officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were justified in pushing 75-year-old Martin Gugino to the ground because he refused to comply and acted erratically. (Whaaah? A septuagenarian who maybe acted a little erratically? Unheard of.)
“Upon review, there is no evidence to sustain any claim that respondents [police officers] had any other viable options other than to move Gugino out of the way of their forward movement,” arbitrator Jeffrey Selchick wrote in his decision.
You gotta love the way officials can just play around in our faces. We saw the video, dude. The officers shoved Martin down within seconds of him approaching them. Selchick is really out here characterizing two officers brutally shoving an elderly man to the ground as their only option to “move Gugino out of the way.”
Bruh, WE SAW THE VIDEO!!
Still, Selchick insisted in his ruling that the” use of force employed by respondents reflected no intent on their part to do more than to move Gugino away from them.”
Again, imagine a civilian pushing an elderly man to the ground, fracturing his skull, and causing a brain injury, and said civilian gets cleared of all wrongdoing with a justification that boils down to: “Oops, I didn’t mean it.”
McCabe and Torgalski were both arrested and suspended without paydays after the incident, but a grand jury declined to press charges and, on Monday, they were both reinstated, according to police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
Meanwhile, Guningo has sued the city and his attorney, Melissa Wischerath, said the cops being cleared won’t impact the lawsuit.
“We are not aware of any case where this arbitrator has ruled against on-duty police officers, so his ruling here on behalf of the police was not only expected by us but was certainly expected by the union and city who selected and paid him,” Wischerath said.