Kelly Clarkson, Kumail Nanjiani, Kacey Musgraves and several other celebrities are outraged after a video appeared showing a 75-year-old white protester in Buffalo, New York, being pushed by police.
In the disturbing clip, which was taken by the local WBFO radio station, the protester approaches a group of police officers to speak to them, and appears to be holding an officer’s helmet. When an officer is heard repeatedly telling his colleagues to “push him back,” another officer pushes the man to the ground. The man could have hit his head on the concrete, but this is out of frame in the video. Later he is seen lying on the ground, bleeding from his ear. Officers request medical assistance, although several of them are seen walking alongside the man lying on the ground.
The New York Times reports that the protester is in serious condition. After the video was released, the Buffalo Police Department claimed the man “tripped and fell,” but then suspended two of the officers who were allegedly involved in the incident without pay, according to the Times.
Meanwhile, the video has sparked outrage on social media.
Actor Nanjiani also posted the video on Twitter, writing: “Can a person watching this video tell me that this policeman’s violence was justified?”
Then he added: “Re: that horrible video. The Buffalo Police Department officially said that the man tripped and fell. If we didn’t have a video, there would have been no responsibility. Why? Because a ‘rotten apple’ pushed him down. but 20 ‘good apples’ would have allowed him to get away with it. It’s systemic. ”
Clarkson also went to Twitter, shared the video, and wrote: “To every cop in this video who passed by that poor man bleeding from his head after he was OBVIOUSLY pushed, WHY ARE YOU A COP? !!! A all the great cops out there, CALL THESE EXCUSED DISCUSSIONS FOR HUMANS! ”
When a commenter claimed the video was a hoax, Clarkson replied, “Here’s the problem with what you’re saying (if it was false) NONE of those cops knew anything at the time other than an old man who was rejected and now there is blood on the floor and could be dying. Unless they’re special, magical cops who know everything #WakeUp. ”
Seth Rogen was another celebrity who shared the video and wrote, “Once again, if you are doing this to old whites on camera, imagine what is happening off camera.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo condemned the officials involved, tweeting: “The incident in Buffalo is totally unjustified and totally embarrassing. I have spoken to Buffalo City Mayor Byron Brown, and we agree that the officers involved should be suspended immediately. Police officers should enforce, NOT ABUSE, the law. ”
This video appears when people across the country and around the world protest police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25. Floyd was a 46-year-old black man who died after a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.