Screenshot of the Twitter video posted by Ruweyda Salim.
Michael DeLong was standing within six feet of Ruweyda Salim during the incident. He was not wearing a mask.
Michael DeLong is a Buffalo Police Department lieutenant who was suspended without pay after “verbally harassing” a woman on video, according to WGRZ.
He was suspended on June 29 for calling Ruweyda Salim a “disrespectful little f***ing c**t” when she asked why so many officers were called to check on a man who seemed to be on drugs, the Investigative Post reported.
Salim filmed the incident on her phone and posted it to Facebook, calling the police department “scum.” It has since been shared more than 2,500 times.
Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood responded by launching an Internal Affairs investigation, according to the Post.
Here is everything you need to know about Michael DeLong and his suspension:
1. DeLong Joined the Police Force in 2000
City payroll records show that DeLong joined the force 20 years ago, the Post said. He was paid $116,878 for the last fiscal year, the outlet added.
The Post also reported that DeLong currently lives in Hamburg and is assigned to the B District, records indicated.
2. DeLong was Called to Investigate a Man Who Appeared to be on Drugs
— رويدا سالم (@ruweyda_salim) June 29, 2020
The incident took place on Sunday and was shot on Salim’s phone outside a 7-Eleven, according to WGRZ.
The officers were seen on video searching a man who appeared to be disoriented on drugs, the station continues. About a minute in, an officer in a white shirt approaches Salim.
DeLong walks within six-feet of Salim, a community organizer who has done work with PUSH Buffalo and the Western New York Peace Center, the Post said. When she said he was too close, DeLong said, “Move me.”
He then cursed at her after she refused to leave the scene, the outlet said.
3. DeLong Threatened to “Visit” Salim at Her Job
Salim questioned why 10 officers were called to the scene to “handle someone who is on drugs.” DeLong responded by claiming the man was “violent” and then called her the derogatory name.
Salim responded by letting him know he was going to go “viral.”
“I don’t care if I go viral,” DeLong said.
The two continue to interact for a few more minutes, when DeLong asked about Salim’s job. He suggested he might visit her at work.
“I’m going to come to your work and start filming you,” he said.
The community organizer repeatedly asks why so many officers were present to search one man. The disorderly man then appears to be directed to an ambulance at the end of the video.
4. The Buffalo Mayor Publicly Announced his Support of DeLong’s Suspension
In a statement to News 4, Mayor Byron Brown said he was on-board with the commissioner’s decision to launch the internal affairs investigation.
He indicated that DeLong’s behavior will not be tolerated within the department.
“As soon as Commissioner Lockwood became aware of the incident, he immediately opened an investigation and suspended the officer involved,” he said to the station. “I fully support the commissioner’s swift actions. There is no place for that type of reprehensible conduct in the Buffalo Police Department and it will not be tolerated.”
5. DeLong is the Third Buffalo Officer to be Suspended by the Department Within the Last Month
Just about an hour ago, police officers shove man in Niagara Square to the ground (WARNING: Graphic). Video from: @MikeDesmondWBFO pic.twitter.com/JBKQLvzfET
— WBFO (@WBFO) June 5, 2020
The Investigative Post reported that officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were suspended without pay June 4 after being filmed shoving an elderly protester to the ground.
As members of the department’s now-disbanded Emergency Response Team, the now-viral video captures the officers pushing protester Martin Gugino to the ground. The 75-year-old hits his head and begins bleeding from his ears. He remains hospitalized, according to the Post.
The two officers have been charged with felony assault, the outlet said.
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