Update: Buffalo Polic launched an internal affairs investigation after cell phone video surfaced on a soldier showing hitting and subduing a man until police arrive.
The soldier was identified as off-duty police officer Richard Hy, according to WKBW.
A US Army Soldier was filmed subduing a violent man in the city streets of Buffalo, New York on Thursday, sparking controversy and premature claims that the Soldier was the aggressor.
The incident took place on Elmwood Avenue when the black male, who was reportedly “mentally ill,” spat on the Soldier’s vehicle and became aggressive when confronted.
The Soldier was initially well-composed until the man lunged at him, prompting the Soldier to give the man a prompt blow to the face.
Knocked off his balance, the man was subdued by the soldier, who sat on his chest.
“Call the police,” the Soldier yelled.
Immediately, dozens of bystanders rushed to the scene, seemingly presuming that the Soldier, who is white, was attacking the black male.
“Stop!” one person shouted, while another suggested the Soldier was a “White supremacist, or something.”
Suddenly, another bystander interjected, attempting to add context.
“This isn’t about race,” he said. “Don’t make it about race.”
According to the bystander, the man had been causing problems in the area, which included shouting angrily at people walking by.
According to the Daily Mail, nobody appeared willing to hear the explanation, instead directing their anger to the white Soldier.
“You think you’re entitled because you’re in the army? Go f*** yourself dude,” on man said, urging the Soldier to fight him.
The camera man, likely remembering the “I can’t breathe” narrative currently being pushed by activists, asked the alleged troublemaker if he could breathe.
The man smiled back.
“Oh yeah man, I’m good. I’ve been waiting for this,” he said.
At one point, a black male in a motorized wheelchair came with a baseball bat, adding even more tension to the already heated scenario.
“Are you hitting people? Are you hitting our people?” the wheelchair-bound man said.
“I see a man as a man,” the Soldier said. “He’s yelling and shouting at people in the street, then he comes over and spits on my car. Then he turned around on me. I’m not going to let him hit me first, man.”
The man in the chair demanded the Soldier get a move on, the Soldier refused.
Eventually, police arrive on the scene, prompting bystanders to demand they arrest the Soldier.
“He apparently flashed some girls a few days before,” Said Hamideh, the camera man, told the Daily Mail. “He was causing problems in the neighborhood that day too. He was shouting incoherently in the street, and people were calling out from the balconies for him to leave.”
However, Hamideh and locals quickly took the side of the alleged sexual predator as soon as a white man in a uniform attempted to restrain him.
“I thought that, in the wake of George Floyd, it was inappropriate for a white man in uniform to be putting his body weight on a man’s diaphragm like that,” he said.
The Buffalo Police did not comment on whether or not one or both men were detained.
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