The 75-year-old man who fell to the ground after cops pushed him sustained a brain injury and fractured skull. Now, he’s unable to walk.
Martin Gugino, of Amherst, New York, suffered a brain injury and fractured skull due to the incident.
After the incident, footage emerged showing two officers shoving the pensioner to the ground at a BLM protest. Blood poured from the back of his head as he laid motionless on the ground.
Before the Emergence of the Video, Buffalo Police Claimed Gugino Tripped
Investigators later charged Officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe with second-degree assault and suspended them.
Gugino’s lawyer Kelly Zarcone said her client would be beginning physical therapy to treat the brain injury.
However, it’s unclear whether his condition has improved since the initial brain injury diagnosis.
Gugino earlier said, via the attorney’s statement, that it was “very unnecessary to focus on me…There are plenty of other things to think about besides me,” such as helping others and peacefully addressing societal shortcomings.
Gugino is said to be a longtime follower of the Catholic Worker Movement, a religious group that focuses on peace and justice.
His close friend and fellow activist Matt Daloisio – who works as a public defense attorney – told The Guardian:
“I know exactly what he was doing. I’ve seen him do it a hundred other times.”
“What I think he was doing was trying to offer them something to read on his phone: about the law, about the right of people to assemble. Or asking why they were preventing people from exercising that right.”
As per the organization’s website, the group is ‘committed to voluntary poverty and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and forsaken.’
Catholic Workers are also said to ‘protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms.’
Gugino is also a member of the Western New York Peace Centre and Latin American Solidarity Committee.
The New York Times also reported that Gugino had protested climate change, drone strikes, and nuclear weapons in the past.
However, Conspiracies Have Surfaced Following His Injury
Some social media users called it ‘fake’ and accusing him of trying to disrupt police communications.
Other conspiracies claimed Gugino was possibly (without evidence) a member of ANTIFA, the radical, anti-fascist political group.
The torrent of misinformation, plus the incident’s widespread publicity, has forced Gugino to consider relocating following his recovery.
His lawyer said:
“We are concerned about the rumors going around, inciting people to violence against Martin. So he won’t be going back home. … We don’t feel it would be safe for him.”
And despite the fateful incident, Gugino doesn’t harbor ill will toward the officers who assaulted him, his lawyer added.