The US Unrest Began with Police Brutality. And It Continues. Now a 75-Yr-Old Pushed to the Ground

Social Commentary

The US Unrest Began with Police Brutality. And It Continues. Now a 75-Yr-Old Pushed to the Ground

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

Protests in the US against the brutal police killing of George Floyd have reached their 10th day. It’s ironic then that in many places, the police are trying to quell protests against their brutality with… even more brutality. The journalists covering the protests as well as the people on the ground capturing events through their smartphones have been filming shocking incidents of violence by the police. Viewers in India will have a throwback to the violent riots that erupted in Delhi this February, where the police were captured on CCTV and smartphone cameras destroying property and assaulting protestors. The latest shocking video to emerge from the US protests depicts police officers in riot gear shoving an elderly man to the ground, causing him to bleed from an apparent head wound.

The video was captured by a local station in Buffalo, New York, and caused a wave of outrage to spread among those who saw it. In the video, the elderly man, who reports are claiming is 75 years old, approaches a line of police officers, who order him to get back, before two of them push him back, with one of them using his police baton to do so. The old man stumbles before falling back and cracking his head on the sidewalk, and lies there motionless as blood pools beneath his head. The police continue to march past his prone body. And even though the incident was captured on video, a spokesperson for the Buffalo police department released a statement saying the man tripped and fell.

The mayor of Buffalo condemned the disturbing incident. He said he would be speaking to Buffalo’s police commissioner about the conduct of the cops. Meanwhile, the elderly man was taken to a hospital, where the mayor said he was in a serious condition.

As the backlash to the video continued to grow, it became clear that it was imperative to take some action. Shortly after the video went viral, the two police officers involved in the altercation were suspended without pay.

The sad part about the incident is that it appears to be the very same neighbourhood where police were filmed taking a knee in solidarity with protesters earlier, lending credence to theory that these shows of support from the police are just lip service, as some had claimed earlier.

The 75-year-old had come out onto the streets to protest police brutality, but unfortunately became yet another victim of it.