ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Andrew Cuomo reacted to the graphic, viral video, which shows Buffalo police officers pushing a 75-year-old protester to the ground on Thursday.
The Governor said that watching the video makes him “sick to his stomach.” He also supported Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s decision to immediately suspend both officers involved without pay.
“Why was that necessary? Where was the threat? Older gentleman. Where was the threat? And then you just walk by the person when you see blood coming from his head,” the Governor said.
The Governor was asked whether or not the officers involved should be fired. He said it was a “contractual, collective bargaining” question.
“I would say I think the City should pursue firing, and I think the District Attorney should look at the situation for possible criminal charges,” he said.
As tensions continue to run high over the killing of George Floyd, the Governor also set forth a Say their Name reform agenda. That includes a ban on chokeholds, the reform of 50-A, banning and making it a crime to call in a false race-based 911 report, and designating the Attorney General as an “independent prosecutor” in cases where an unarmed person is killed by police.
“Reform works for everyone’s interest here. Stopping police abuse vindicates the overwhelming majority, 99.9 % of police who are there to do the right thing and do do the right thing every day,” the Governor said.