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57 Cops Quit Their Unit Amid Shove Hubbub

Entire unit of Buffalo PD resigns after 2 of their own were suspended following incident with elderly man
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2020 6:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two police officers in Buffalo, NY, were suspended after a video circulated showing them shoving an elderly man to the ground during a George Floyd protest on Thursday evening, and now an entire unit within the city's police department has resigned. USA Today cites the Buffalo News in reporting all 57 active members of the Emergency Response Team, which shows up to handle riots and other situations requiring crowd control, quit their unit Friday, though they haven't stepped down from the police department overall. The Buffalo mayor's office tells CNN that a few members of the unit aren't currently active and hadn't left with the others. "Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders," the president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association tells WGRZ. However, two of the 57 officers tell WKBW that's not the case.

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"I don't understand why the union said it's a thing of solidarity. I think it sends the wrong message that 'we're backing our own,' and that's not the case," one says. The other adds: "We quit because our union said [they] aren't legally backing us anymore. So why would we stand on a line for the city with no legal backing ... ?" Meanwhile, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old peace activist shoved to the ground, remains in serious but stable condition and is alert. Gugino's own tweet from earlier Thursday, before he was injured, spoke to his feelings on protesting. "Protests are exempt from curfews because Congress (and mayors) may make no laws that abridge the right of the people peaceably to assemble and complain to the government," he wrote. "The government should receive the complaint with thanks, not arrest the people or beat them." (Read more Buffalo stories.)

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