Gov. Cuomo spoke with man who was shoved by police; says city should pursue firing officers

Coronavirus

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has spoken with Martin Gugino, the man who was seen on video being pushed down by Buffalo police.

After being knocked down, the 75-year-old was seen bleeding from the head in a video that has garnered worldwide attention.

Cuomo shared that graphic video during his conference.

“Where was the threat?” the Governor asked, after reviewing the video. He went on to criticize the Buffalo police officers who just walked by, calling the entire incident “frightening.”

Since the incident, both officers involved have been suspended without pay. Gov. Cuomo praised city leaders for that quick action, and also applauded the Erie County District Attorney’s office for starting an investigation.

While answering reporters’ questions, the Governor said the city should look into firing the officers and possible criminal charges.

“I would say I think the city should pursue firing [the officers],” Cuomo said. “I think the DA should look at the situation for possible criminal charges. I think that should be done on an expeditious basis.”

Gov. Cuomo hopes District Attorney John Flynn moves “quickly” but “fairly.”

During the morning, Gov. Cuomo also laid out the points of his “Say Their Name” reform agenda — something he plans to work with the state legislature on.

  • Allow for transparency of prior disciplinary records of law enforcement officers by reforming 50-a of the civil rights law;
  • Banning chokeholds by law enforcement officers;
  • Prohibiting false race-based 911 reports and making them a crime; and
  • Designating the Attorney General as an independent prosecutor for matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement.

“Mr. Floyd’s murder was the breaking point of a long list of deaths that were unnecessary and abusive, and people are saying enough is enough, we must change and we must stop the abuse,” Gov. Cuomo said.

Briefly mentioning the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Cuomo said it has not only been an economic or health issue, but a social one as well.

Cuomo says that thanks to the actions and reactions of New Yorkers, hospitalizations and deaths have drastically dropped when compared to two months ago.

Eight weeks ago, New York was seeing roughly 800 deaths per day. Thursday’s total was 42.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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