In this shocking video clip captured in the early AM hour of August 23, 2020, un-identified Buffalo, NY police officers are caught compassionately and patiently helping an old angry and agitated man off the sidewalk at the intersection of Delaware Avenue and Allen Street.
In this two minute video, which is not for the soft of heart who tear easily at grim acts of kindness, officers convene around the patient, hear him out, then gently help him from the ground and usher him to a waiting ambulance.
The video nobody thought would leak.
For some reason, this "shocking video" probably isn't going to go viral.
I make this satirical posting on the same day that several Buffalo police officers had charges dropped for supposedly willfully (as some anti-police types would cry) knocking another senior 75-year-old to the ground during one of the chaotic protests which occurred in this city over the summer.
I never agreed that's what happened and have always been perplexed that people were so eager to interpret what was clearly an accident, as something malicious.
It's not that I take swipe at the protesters who march or protest bad and biased police behavior where it may occur. And it's not simply that I know that there are bad apples but rather I believe impulsive actions and prejudices are too natural even among good people -- ergo, even among good officers. My feeling is, protest and solidify positive ideals against real racism, keeping those who might get too casual, in check.
But the simple facts are that there was no purposeful intent to harm Martin Gugino, who by the same viral video that show him falling shows him wading his way directly into an advancing police line. A bit too naive perhaps, but definitely reckless and contributing to the chaos.
Maybe I think the Buffalo police and other departments need to brush up more precisely on what to do in such instances, but to think that a crime was committed is over the top and intellectually dishonest. The Guardian article to which I link points out that Gugino is a peace activist. I maintain that if he really is, he would have acknowledged his culpability in the clumsy event and everyone could have parted ways embarrassed, but wiser.
Did that happen or will it happen, who can say? But what I can bet, because this video shows off the more routine helpful and patient nature of police -- when there isn't a chaotic situation going one -- is that this will be the video of an old man, a sidewalk, and Buffalo police, that won't go viral.