Charges have been dropped against Buffalo police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski (Picture: Reuters)
Criminal charges have been dropped against two police officers who shoved a 75-year-old protester to the ground – leaving him with a fractured skull.
Police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were caught on camera pushing elderly activist, Martin Gugino, during protests in Buffalo, New York, following the killing of George Floyd in June last year.
The distressing clip – which caused international outrage – captured the moment Gugino is shoved over by McCabe and Torgalski, causing him to bleed from his head and lay motionless on the sidewalk.
McCabe and Torgalski were both charged with felony assault following the incident – which left Gugino in hospital for a month – but a grand jury has declined to indict them.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced the ruling yesterday and said he said he did everything possible to bring a strong case, reports CNN.
Despite that, Flynn said the state has chosen not to charge the officers – who had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Flynn said: ‘I went into that grand jury, I put all relevant evidence into that grand jury. I put multiple witnesses in that grand jury.
‘I put everything that was not cumulative into that grand jury. And you got my word on that.’
Martin Gugino, 75, was pushed outside Buffalo City Hall (Picture: Reuters)
Gugino spent a month in hospital (Picture: Reuters)
The charges were brought against McCabe and Torgalski after a news crew covering protests in Buffalo, in June last year, captured he pair pushing Gugino to the ground as they cleared demonstrators from the area for an 8pm curfew.
He bled from his head as officers appeared to carry on marching.
Gugino suffered a fractured skull and brain injury, and was left unable to walk, according to his lawyer.
McCabe and Torgalski were suspended without pay and subsequently arrested. They remain suspended pending the outcome of the internal affairs investigation, Buffalo Police Department has said.
Aaron Torgalski, left, and Robert McCabe, right, are the cops who appear in the video, and who were charged with second-degree assault (Pictures: Eric County Sheriff’s Office)
The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association said it was ‘extremely pleased’ with the grand jury’s decision.
In a statement the organization said: ‘We are grateful the Grand Jury decided not to charge. They saw there was no criminal intent.
‘These officers have been put through hell. We look forward for their return to work.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.