His attorney said on Thursday the 75-year-old man who was pushed to the ground by police during a protest in Buffalo, New York, had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was facing “a normal state of affairs.” new”.
The video of social justice activist Martin Gugino being shoved during a protest on June 4 outside City Hall has become one of the most viewed examples of police violence involved. to nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.
Gugino has been hospitalized since the incident, which resulted in second-degree assault charges and unpaid suspensions of Buffalo officers Robert McCabe, 32, and Aaron Torgalski, 39. Both officers pleaded not guilty.
On Thursday, Gugino’s attorney, Kelly V. Zarcone, said she spoke to him, and he was feeling better and “started physical therapy today, which is definitely a treat” step in the right direction.”
However, Zarcone said, “It was heartbreaking, his brain was injured and he’s well aware of it now.”
For that reason, she said, he is not interested in doing media interviews at this time, but he “feels encouraged and uplifted by the support he has given him.” It’s received from so many people around the globe.”
“It helps,” said Zarcone. “He is looking forward to healing and defining what his ‘new normal’ will look like.”
Zarcone added that Gugino was “a soft-spoken but thoughtful and principled man.”
Friends told the Religious News Service that Gugino is a retired computer programmer and devout Catholic who has long worked to advocate for the poor, disenfranchised, and represent Black Lives Matter.
On June 4, he was participating in a rally in Buffalo when he approached a large group of officers in tactical gear before saying something, the video shows.
Officers shouted at him to back off before one or two appeared to push him before he fell backwards, hit his head on his body and then lay motionless on the ground, bleeding.
One of the officers seemed to lean over and say something to Gugino on the ground before another officer pulled him back and they walked past him.
The incident happened shortly after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew. on Thursday, NBC’s WGRZ branch in Buffalo reported. Buffalo police initially said the man tripped, but the video revealed the truth.
After the suspension of the two officers, but before they were charged, 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response team left that unit to unite with their colleagues.
Governor Andrew Cuomo condemned the officers’ actions the day after the incident.
Cuomo said he spoke with Gugino and the incident “disturbed our basic sense of correctness and humanity.”
“Why, why? Why is that necessary?” Governor said. “Where’s the threat? Old gentleman, where’s the threat? Then you just walk past that person when you see blood coming out of his head?