Attorney says 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police suffered brain injury
An attorney for Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old man shoved to the ground by police in Buffalo, N.Y., at a recent protest, said Thursday that Gugino’s “brain is injured” and that he is beginning physical therapy.
“As most of you know, Martin is a soft spoken but thoughtful and principled man. As heartbreaking as it is, his brain is injured and he is well aware of that now,” attorney Kelly Zarcone said in a statement provided to multiple news outlets.
“He feels encouraged and uplifted by the outpouring of support which he has received from so many people all over the globe. It helps. He is looking forward to healing and determining what his ‘new normal’ might look like,” Zarcone continued.
Two Buffalo police officers have been charged with second-degree assault after video of the incident was shared widely across social media. It shows Gugino approaching them during a protest, getting pushed back, falling backwards and hitting the ground.
Blood can be seen pooling on the sidewalk as a group of officers walk pass him.
President Trump this week shared an unfounded conspiracy theory that the incident could be a “set up” and that the man “could be an ANTIFA provocateur.”
The president cited the right-wing One American News Network in his Tuesday tweet, which the White House has repeatedly defended.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
Trump faced widespread backlash from Democrats and some Republican lawmakers for his unfounded accusation. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called Trump’s tweet a “reprehensible act,” and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called the claims “all fabricated.”
“He accuses this man of being associated with antifa, no proof whatsoever, no fact, just an assertion,” Cuomo said Tuesday.
Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), Trump’s most prominent GOP critic on Capitol Hill, called the message “shocking,” telling reporters “I won’t dignify it with any further comment.”
Gugino reportedly responded to Trump’s tweet Tuesday, writing in a text, “No comment other than Black Lives Matter. Just out of the ICU. Should recover eventually. Thx.”
He was pushed during a protest over the killing of George Floyd, who died late last month after a now-former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes during an arrest. Demonstrations have broken out across the country over Floyd’s death, calling for widespread police reforms.
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