CBS — The two Buffalo police officers accused of shoving an elderly protester to the ground on Thursday have been charged with second-degree assault, the Erie County District Attorney announced on Saturday. A video of the incident, filmed by an NPR member station, shows the two officers shoving 75-year-old Martin Gugino with their riot shields, causing him to fall backwards, and hit his head on the pavement.
The Erie County District Attorney said that the officers, 39-year-old Aaron Torgalski, and 32-year-old Robert McCabe, were virtually arraigned this morning. Both officers pleaded not guilty to the assault charge, according to CBS affiliate WIVB. They were released on their own recognizance and are scheduled for a felony hearing on July 20, according to the district attorney.
They now face up to seven years in prison.
The district attorney said Gugino was taken to the hospital and was treated for a head injury, loss of consciousness and bleeding from his right ear. He remains in critical condition, the district attorney said.
“As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” the statement said.
This is a breaking story. It will be updated.