Syracuse lawmakers unanimously call for suspension, after another police shoving

Jun 9, 2020

The Syracuse Common Council is unanimously calling for the immediate suspension of a Syracuse police officer that broke rank and pushed a Post Standard news photographer to the ground during one of the city's protests against police brutality. It happened on the night when protests turned violent, windows were smashed and stores were looted.

The photographer captured the incident on his camera as police in riot gear moved in on protesters. It was reported the photographer had scrapes and bruises and two camera lenses were broken. But it’s also indicative of violent confrontations that have happened across the country between police, protesters and the media.

After some conversations, Syracuse councilors came together to condemn the officer at a council meeting. Council President Helen Hudson said this is nothing new.

“It’s been happening in our community on a regular basis for decades,” Hudson said. “At some point, we’re at a boiling point. And the people that are chosen to protect and serve, they have to do just that. As a council, it’s our jobs to ensure there has to be some kind of accountability.”

Hudson said the council is putting together legislation on the local level that will address police department oversight. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Police Chief Kent Buckner both apologized for the incident and an investigation is ongoing.

Since the incident, protests have been largely peaceful in Syracuse, including a massive demonstration that drew thousands of people over the weekend.