The elderly Buffalo, New York protester who was pushed down by police officers suffered a brain injury, according to his lawyer. Footage of the incident was caught on camera, with 75-year-old Martin Gugino seen approaching officers, who then push him, causing him to fall and hit his head on the hard concrete. He was subsequently hospitalized for his injuries.
"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," attorney Kelly Zarcone said in a statement, per PEOPLE. "He feels encouraged and uplifted by the outpouring of support which he has received from so many people all over the globe. It helps." She then added, "He is looking forward to healing and determining what his 'new normal' might look like." After the incident, Gugino wound up in intensive care in a local hospital. However, on Wednesday, Zarcone told PEOPLE that Gugino was being moved to a rehabilitation floor. "His condition continues to improve," she said, "and we hope he will be released within the next two weeks."
UPDATE: Pres. Trump on Tuesday tweeted a baseless conspiracy that the 75-year-old protester pushed to the ground by Buffalo police 'could be an ANTIFA provocateur.' Gugino remains hospitalized; the two officers who shoved him have been charged with assault. pic.twitter.com/DrTGBBsvN9— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 9, 2020
The two officers involved in the incident have since been arrested and charged felony assault. They pleaded "not guilty," and were released. They are due back in court on July 20. If convicted, the two men could face up to seven years behind bars. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown spoke out about the video, saying, that he was"deeply disturbed by the video." As was Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood, who "immediately" called for an investigation, along with suspending both officers.
Brown continued, "After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, Police leadership and members of the community, tonight's event is disheartening." He stated that he hopes "to continue to build on the progress" they have achieved and that he wants to see everyone "work together to address racial injustice and inequity in the City of Buffalo." Notably, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to claim that Gugino "could be an ANTIFA provocateur." At this time, there is no evidence that this is accurate.