Trump Attacks 75-Year-Old Man Police Knocked On Sidewalk
On Thursday, a 75-year-old protestor in Buffalo, NY was approaching police officers when, in a viral video that has circulated, police appear to respond by shoving him to the ground. Martin Gugino, who works with a nonprofit organization to provide affordable housing, remained hospitalized over the weekend. On Tuesday, the President of the United States lashed out at him, accusing him of attempting to block police communication equipment and faking his own injuries.
According to the Washington Post, officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe have been charged with assault for the incident. When the Buffalo Police Department announced an investigation and suspended the officers without pay, 57 others resigned from the Emergency Task Force in protest.
Now President Donald Trump is attacking the man, making vague accusations that he had a ‘scanner’ he was using to blackout police equipment, and that, because of how hard the elderly man fell, it could have been some kind of ‘set-up.’
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
It’s not completely clear what the interaction was between Gugino and the officers he approached, before the knocked him to the ground, but still images cut from the video show him holding a cell phone in one hand, and a police riot helmet in the other. He’s generally presumed by observers to have been attempting to return a found helmet to police.
Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old man who was shoved to the ground by 2 Buffalo Police officers, was attacked by them as he was attempting to return a dropped police helmet. They cracked his skull after he was trying to help them. pic.twitter.com/9F4XeFGjPL
— Fiorella Isabel🌹🔥 (@Fiorella_im) June 7, 2020
According to WGRZ, as of Monday evening Gugino remains hospitalized and in serious condition, unable to respond to interview requests due to his head injury.
The BBC reports that the police initially released a statement saying the man had tripped and fallen, during a “skirmish involving protestors.” After the video was widely viewed and the officers were charged, Police Union President John Evans maintained that the officers were merely doing their job as directed, clearing the square of protestors, and that Gugino ‘slipped.’
Our position is these officers were simply following orders from Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia to clear the square. It doesn’t specify clear the square of men, 50 and under or 15 to 40. They were simply doing their job. I don’t know how much contact was made. He did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards.