The assault occurred this past summer during widespread protesting.
During a protest in June 2020 following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Buffalo police were caught on video pushing over a 75-year-old man named Martin Gugino. In the video, police officers advance on the man, who was not armed. When the man refuses to step back from the line of police officers, a couple of the officers reach out and push the man, causing him to fall back onto the concrete. The man then begins bleeding out of the ear while police officers move forward, stepping over him.
This week, a grand jury in Western New York dismissed the charges against officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, both of whom are seen on the video shoving Gugino. During Thursday’s press conference, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said he did not regret his decision to drop the charges, noting that while Gugino “should not have been shoved,” he should have been arrested for breaking curfew. The two officers are still suspended for now.
Martin Gugino spoke out after hearing about the dropped charges, telling WIVB News in Buffalo that, “You shouldn’t injure people. You just arrest them. What’s the problem with arresting them that would’ve been normal.”
Gugino also says he and other protesters should have been allowed to continue protesting in front of City Hall, according to their first amendment rights.
Watch the original video of the officers below, and let us know what you think in the comments.