The 75-year-old man is still in the hospital.
5 min read
On the day of George Floyd’s funeral, President Donald Trump on Tuesday touted a new conspiracy theory in a high-profile case of alleged police misconduct caught on video — involving an elderly protester pushed to the ground and seriously injured.
On Twitter Tuesday morning, Trump suggested that the 75-year-old man, who remains hospitalized in serious condition after being shoved to the ground by two Buffalo, New York, police officers, may be an “ANTIFA provocateur” and that the whole incident could be part of a “set up.”
Tagging the conservative news outlet OANN (One America News Network), the president says “I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”
The tweet comes on the heels of a roundtable meeting with law enforcement representatives on Monday in which Trump said the panel would discuss policing and “talk about ideas how we can do it better and how we can do it, if possible, in a much more gentle fashion.”
“Sometimes, you’ll see some horrible things like we witnessed recently, but 99 — I say 99.9, but let’s go with 99% of them are great, great people, and they’ve done jobs that are record setting — record setting,” Trump said, referring to Floyd’s death.
Two Buffalo police officers are now facing criminal charges in connection to the incident, prosecutors said over the weekend.
The man was seen walking in the direction of a crowd of uniformed officers when two officers appear to shove him.
He falls onto his back and bumps the back of his head on the concrete, video shows. The sound of the man’s head hitting the ground silenced the crowd, the video shows.
Blood can be seen seeping from the head of the motionless man as several officers walk by him.
Another officer, possibly a National Guard member, goes to aid the bleeding man, video shows.
Officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered not guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20.
The spokesperson for the city and police department, Mike DeGeorge, initially said in a statement that the man “tripped and fell.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference on Saturday that the video was “horrendous, disgusting” and said he believed it to be illegal. “A bad police officer is an enemy of every good police officer,” Cuomo said.
All 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team resigned Friday from the unit in an apparent show of support for two officers who were suspended after the incident was filmed Thursday night.