Rep. Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, condemned the behavior of law enforcement across the U.S. as "an autocratic frenzy" after two police officers in Buffalo, New York on Thursday shoved an elderly man to the ground, knocking him unconscious—just the latest example of police violence against peaceful demonstrators.
A disturbing video posted to Twitter by a local NPR affiliate late Thursday shows two cops in riot gear pushing a 75-year-old man—causing him to fall backward and slam his head on the concrete—as a group of officers advanced on protesters rallying against the police killing of George Floyd.
The footage shows blood trickling from the man's ear as he lay unconscious on the sidewalk. The man was later hospitalized with a head injury and is reportedly in serious condition.
"Absolutely horrific. A peaceful elderly man is pushed to the ground by cops, hits head and starts bleeding out of his ear," tweeted Jayapal, a Washington Democrat. "This is an autocratic frenzy from law enforcement with extreme violence in incident after incident against peaceful protestors."
Watch the video [warning: the footage is graphic]:
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Before video footage of the incident went viral on social media, a spokesperson for the Buffalo Police Department claimed in a statement that the man "tripped & fell."
The two officers who shoved the man were suspended without pay Thursday night.
"These officers must be fired and charged," tweeted former Housing Secretary Julián Castro.