The condition of the 75-year-old protester who prosecutors say was assaulted by two Buffalo, N.Y. police officers during a George Floyd protest is improving, his attorney tells Law&Crime.
The protester, Martin Gugino, was seen on video bleeding profusely from the head after he was pushed by officers. Video of the incident was captured by local National Public Radio affiliate WFBO.
Kelly V. Zarcone, Gugino’s attorney, on Wednesday jubilantly said that “Martin will be moved today to a rehabilitation floor of the hospital! His condition continues to improved and we hope he will be released within the next 2 weeks.”
Some in the Buffalo Police Department contended that Gugino tripped more than fell. Prosecutors are rubbishing that assertion.
The officers accused in the case, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, have pleaded not guilty. Fellow officers cheered them on after they made their first appearance in court and used umbrellas to attempt to prevent local news crews from seeing their exits from court. Fifty seven officers resigned from a special detail in protest but did not resign from the department as a whole.
President Donald Trump this week suggested that Gugino “could be an ANTIFA provocateur.” Trump said Gugino was “appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment.”
“I watched, he fell harder than was pushed,” Trump said. “Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”
The president’s comments are believed to have been rooted in a piece which aired on the conservative One America News Network.
“We can assure you that the information we’re reporting on is accurate,” an OANN segment released Wednesday said. “Despite his age, there’s substantial evidence that Martin Gugino was an enthusiastic provocateur for the radical left who frequently went out of his way to confront or harass the police.”
“Martin was active in anarchy groups and even posted and contributed to an anarchist reading group,” OANN said. The network also suggested Gugino was waving his phone near the officers’ chests and waists in an effort to scan their communications equipment.
Zarcone, Gugino’s attorney, said earlier this week to Law&Crime that the “provocateur” claims were “dark, dangerous, and untrue.”
[Featured image via screen capture from WFBO/YouTube.]
Editor’s note: this piece has been updated to correct a misspelling.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]