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Photo: Mike Desmond/WBFO via AP

All 57 officers on the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team resigned from the tactical unit in support of two colleagues who were suspended for their involvement in shoving a 75-year-old protester on Thursday, The Buffalo News reports.

Why it matters: It comes as videos of violent confrontations between law enforcement and demonstrators have surfaced across the U.S., and amid a crescendo of calls to reform policing to address systemic racism and violence.

The latest: "At this time, we can confirm that contingency plans are in place to maintain police services and ensure public safety within our community," Mayor Byron Brown said in a statement Friday.

  • The man seen in the video is in critical but stable condition, per The Buffalo News.

What they're saying: The union that represents the department's officers has also defended the riot response team, saying the officers were simply following orders. The union said it will pay for any legal fees for the two officers who were suspended.

  • "Our position is these officers were simply following orders from Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia to clear the square," said Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans.
  • "It doesn't specify clear the square of men, 50 and under or 15 to 40. They were simply doing their job. I don't know how much contact was made. He did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Rochester mayor vows to reform police after Daniel Prude's death

Demonstrators in Rochester, New York. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Lovely Warren, mayor of Rochester, New York, pledged reforms to the city's police as protests continued Sunday over the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who was experiencing mental health issues when he was detained.

Driving the news: Prude died seven days after being hooded and held down by Rochester police. Police Chief La’Ron Singletary said at a news conference with Warren that he supported the changes and he was "dedicated to taking the necessary actions to prevent this from ever happening again."

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 mins ago - Economy & Business

Coinbase opens at $102 billion valuation on first day of public trading

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase opened trading on Wednesday at $381 per share, giving it a fully diluted market value of around $102 billion.

Why it matters: This is a slight premium to the most recent private trades for Coinbase stock, and more than 50% higher than the reference price set last night by the Nasdaq.

39 mins ago - World

U.S. intelligence expects a stormy year in the Middle East

A technical team explodes remnant ammunition near Sirte, Libya. Photo: Mohammed Ertima/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Ongoing conflicts, economic crises and the fallout from COVID-19 will likely destabilize several countries in the Middle East in 2021 and could even put some on the brink of collapse, according to the U.S. intelligence community's annual Threat Assessment Report, released on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The report is the most comprehensive assessment the intelligence community produces every year. It paints a portrait of conflicts, insurgencies, terrorism and protest movements across the Middle East.