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2 Buffalo police officers charged after man shoved at George Floyd protest

Click to play video: 'George Floyd protests: Video shows Buffalo police officers violently shoving elderly man to the ground' George Floyd protests: Video shows Buffalo police officers violently shoving elderly man to the ground
WARNING: Video contains disturbing content not suitable for all viewers. Discretion is advised. Two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault Saturday, prosecutors said, after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old protester in recent demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. – Jun 6, 2020

Two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault Saturday, prosecutors said, after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old protester in recent demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, who surrendered Saturday morning, pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault. They were released without bail.

READ MORE: George Floyd protests: Anti-racism demonstrations continue across Canada

At a news conference Saturday, District Attorney John Flynn said the officers “crossed a line.”

Click to play video: 'George Floyd protests: 2 officers seen violently shoving elderly man to ground charged with 2nd degree assault' George Floyd protests: 2 officers seen violently shoving elderly man to ground charged with 2nd degree assault
George Floyd protests: 2 officers seen violently shoving elderly man to ground charged with 2nd degree assault – Jun 6, 2020

The officers had been suspended without pay Friday after a TV crew captured the confrontation the night before near the end of protests.

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The footage shows a man identified as Martin Gugino approaching a line of helmeted officers holding batons as they clear demonstrators from Niagara Square around the time of an 8 p.m. curfew.

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Two officers push Gugino backward, and he hits his head on the pavement. Blood spills as officers walk past. One officer leans down to check on the injured man before another officer urges the colleague to keep walking.

The video of the encounter sparked outrage online as demonstrators take to cities across the country to protest Floyd’s death.

“I think there was criminal liability from what I saw on the video,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a briefing Saturday. “I think what the mayor did and the district attorney did was right, and I applaud them for acting as quickly as they did.”

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Click to play video: 'George Floyd protests: Cuomo comments on Floyd’s death, shoving of elderly protester by Buffalo police' George Floyd protests: Cuomo comments on Floyd’s death, shoving of elderly protester by Buffalo police
George Floyd protests: Cuomo comments on Floyd’s death, shoving of elderly protester by Buffalo police – Jun 6, 2020

“What we saw was horrendous and disgusting, and I believe, illegal,” he added.

But dozens of Buffalo police officers who were angered over their fellow officers’ suspensions stepped down from the department’s crowd control unit Friday. The resigning officers did not leave their jobs altogether.

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