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Buffalo cops charged with shoving protester remain suspended, but now with pay

Buffalo cops charged with shoving protester remain suspended, but now with pay

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Gugino police

Police tend to Martin Gugino, 75, who was shoved to the ground as police cleared the area in front of City Hall of protesters on June 4.

The two Buffalo police officers who shoved and injured a 75-year-old peaceful protester at a demonstration last month in front of City Hall in an incident that garnered international attention remain suspended from their jobs, but are now being paid.

The change from unpaid to paid suspensions occurred because of a provision in the city's collective bargaining agreement with the officers' union, the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, that caps unpaid suspensions at 30 days.

After 30 days, the contract requires Officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe to be placed on paid suspension, Buffalo Police Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said in an email. The move was first reported by WKBW-TV.

Torgalski and McCabe were charged June 6 with felony assault. They were part of a tactical unit deployed to clear protesters from Niagara Square after a curfew went into effect the evening of June 4.

The protester, Martin Gugino, suffered a fractured skull. He was released from the hospital last week.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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The video shocked and offended many across the world, but it’s not enough to convict two Buffalo police officers, local defense lawyers said this week. While the recorded images of officers shoving a 75-year-old protester struck many as slam-dunk evidence, attorneys with a history of successfully defending police officers think it falls far short of what the law demands

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