A shocking video went viral on Thursday that showed Buffalo police officers pushing an elderly protester backward in a manner that caused him to fall and hit his head on the concrete. Two officers were immediately suspended afterward pending an investigation.
According to local ABC affiliate WKBW, all 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s voluntary Emergency Response Team, of which the two suspended officers had been a part of, tendered their resignations and stepped down from the team, though they remain active with the police force.
It was suggested by some that the resignations were a show of support by the team for the suspended officers.
However, some anonymous members of the team suggested that it was a lack of legal support from their police union as well as more broadly from local leaders that prompted the resignations, as they worried they’d be alone to face substantial trouble if any further incidents occurred.
Given that the team was specifically trained to deal with mass protests and riots, it remains unclear at this time who will step up to fill the team’s vacancies.
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