An attorney for Buffalo, N.Y. protester Martin Gugino says her injured client is “feeling better than yesterday” and “is starting physical therapy” as of Thursday, which she said “is definitely a step in the right direction.” However, that attorney, Kelly V. Zarcone, says Gugino’s “brain is injured and he is well aware of that now.”
Gugino was seen in viral video being shoved in an alleged assault by two Buffalo police officers. The police department initially said Gugino wasn’t so much shoved to the ground as he was tripped by his own two feet when he was pushed aside by officers ordered to clear the area of George Floyd protesters; however, the local prosecutor, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, filed assault charges against officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe over the incident. The charges led to outcry within the department and efforts outside court to block the men from being seen after pleading not guilty.
Here is the crux of Zarcone’s statement on Thursday:
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. Because of this, he told me that he is not interested in media interviews right now. 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.
Earlier in the week, Zarcone said Gugino would likely be in the hospital for a couple of more weeks.
President Donald Trump ignited controversy surrounding the already-viral incident by referring to Gugino as a potential “ANTIFA provocateur,” a claim which Zarcone previously said was “dark, dangerous, and untrue.” Trump’s comments appear to have been spurred by a series of stories about Gugino broadcast by the conservative One America News Network.
[Image via screen capture from WFBO/YouTube]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]