The two officers who knocked down a 75-year-old protester in the American city of Buffalo on Friday are officially charged. The local prosecutor announced this on Saturday. The victim fell on the back of his head and was seriously injured.
The officers were previously suspended, but will now also be prosecuted for knocking down the 75-year-old man.
"Two of our agents have crossed the line," prosecutor Erie County told The New York Times . "My job is to prosecute those people who broke the law. And I believe these agents did."
More than a hundred officers, firefighters and other people gathered in front of the courthouse on Saturday to demonstrate against the prosecution. Earlier, all 57 officers from the Emergency Response Team of the Buffalo police station stepped down from the team. They find the measures against the agents unfounded.
Man seriously injured after push by police during demonstration in Buffalo
Governor: incident 'completely unjustified and completely disgraceful'
The video of the incident caused quite a stir on social media. The images show that the man approaches the officers and seems to want to ask something. He is then knocked over by at least two officers. The victim remains lying on the street, bleeding and motionless.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo called the incident "completely unjustified and utterly disgraceful." He said he agreed to the suspension of the agents, imposed by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. "Agents must uphold the law, not abuse it," Cuomo said.
Massive protests against racism and police brutality have been going on in the United States for over a week. The reason for this was the violent arrest of George Floyd in Minnesota. Floyd died after a cop pressed his knee to Floyd's neck for minutes.