The 75-year-old peaceful protester pushed to the ground by two Buffalo, New York, police officers nearly a month ago has been released from the hospital, his attorney said Tuesday.
After suffering a brain injury and fractured skull, Martin Gugino was released from Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, and is “recovering at an undisclosed location in order to ensure his privacy,” according to his attorney, Kelly Zarcone.
“Martin wants to thank the entire hospital staff for their exceptional dedication and professionalism. He received truly outstanding care and for that, he is grateful,” Zarcone said in a statement. “I was able to see Martin today and he looks great.”
On June 4, Gugino was seriously injured during anti-racist protests that have swept the U.S. following the police killing of George Floyd. Graphic cellphone video that quickly went viral showed Gugino attempting to talk to officers in Buffalo’s Niagara Square as police begin to enforce the city’s 8 p.m. curfew. Two officers are seen shoving him and Gugino is seen hitting his head on the pavement, where he lay motionless with a small pool of blood forming around his head. The officers kept walking.
Following outrage over the video, the two cops seen pushing Gugino ― Robert McCabe, 39, and Aaron Torgalski, 32 ― were both charged with second-degree assault. The arrests led to all 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team to resign “in disgust.”
President Donald Trump further inflamed tensions when he absurdly and without evidence said Gugino “could be an ANTIFA provocateur.” And despite video evidence showing Gugino’s injury, Trump said the man “fell harder than he was pushed.”
Gugino “has been a longtime peaceful protester, human rights advocate and overall fan of the U.S. Constitution for many years,” Zarcone said in an earlier statement responding to Trump’s baseless claim. “We are at a loss to understand why the President of the United States would make such dark, dangerous, and untrue accusations against him.”
Gugino’s friend Matt Daloisio told The Guardian that Gugino is “one of the sweetest, gentlest people I know.”