Donald Trump Smears Hospitalized Buffalo Protestor Martin Gugino, 75: ‘He Could Be Antifa’
Donald Trump claims that Martin Gugino, the elderly protestor shoved in Buffalo by police, is an ‘antifa provocateur’ who ‘set up’ his own assault. Twitter was disgusted by the attack on Gugino’s character.
President Donald Trump sunk to a new low on June 9 when he accused Martin Gugino, the elderly protestor brutalized by Buffalo police officers, of exaggerating his injuries. Gugino, 75, remains in serious condition in the hospital five days after two officers threw him to the ground with no provocation. “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?”
It’s a lie that Gugino was “scanning police communications” and it’s unclear where Trump, 73, got that erroneous information. Video of the incident clearly shows Gugino approaching a line of officers in Niagara Square while protesting, unarmed. Two officers shove the elderly man onto the pavement so hard that he falls unconscious. The entire force of cops, rather than administer aid, step over Gugino as blood seeps from his ear. You can watch the footage below, but warning: it’s graphic.
Trump’s tweet sparked massive outrage on Twitter. “Trump thinks Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old peace activist whom Buffalo police shoved, ‘fell harder than he was pushed’ — and deliberately put himself bleeding on the pavement and in intensive care to make law enforcement look bad? He’s a cruel moron,” writer Jason Pontin tweeted. “Sir, Mr. Martin Gugino is still in the hospital with a cracked skull. You are a malignant narcissist. You seek to divide and injure. You cower from blood and show contempt for others. It’s a pattern with you. Disgusting,” law professor Jennifer Taub wrote.
The two police officers who shoved Gugino, Robert McCabe, 32, and Aaron Torgalski, 39, were arrested and charged with felony assault in the second degree. They both pleaded not guilty. In support of the officers, the entire Emergency Response Team resigned, though will remain as officers with the Buffalo PD. Gugino is a longtime peace activist who works with multiple charities and advocacy groups.
He is a member of PUSH Buffalo, which focuses on affordable housing, and Western New York Peace Center, a human rights organization. He is also a member of the Catholic Worker Movement, an organization founded by Dorothy Day, in which members aim to “live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ.” As one of Gugino’s friends told The Buffalo News, “He’s a gentle person who really believes that he must stand up for what he thinks is right.”
Gugino was protesting in Buffalo that day in support of Black Lives Matter after the unjust death of George Floyd. Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes as he struggled to breathe; the officer has now been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd’s death sparked massive protests in cities around the world that are continuing into their second week.
Gugino’s health hasn’t improved since his assault, his lawyer, Kelly V. Zarcone, said in a June 8 statement: “Martin Gugino is still hospitalized and his condition remains largely unchanged. He is in serious but stable condition. Martin has acknowledged and sincerely appreciates the tremendous outpouring of support he has received nationwide. Martin and his family continue to request privacy as they focus on Martin’s health and recovery.”
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