The elderly protester who suffered a brain injury after being pushed by Buffalo police officers during unrest and protests will recover at an “undisclosed location,” said his lawyer.
Martin Gugino, 75, was pushed by a riot officer during Black Lives Matter protests earlier this month. The officers are heard telling him to get back before one pushes him, causing him to stumble backward and hit his head.
Gugino’s lawyer, Kelly Zarcone, said that he’s received “concerning and threatening messages and one letter,” meaning that he will be “recovering in an undisclosed location when he is released from the hospital. We do not expect that to happen for a good week, so things could change,” according to the New York Post. Zarcone said it’s not clear if “these are credible death threats.”
Police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were suspended by the police department and face assault charges.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the video of the incident is “horrific,” saying that he believes the officers didn’t use “common sense.” However, he remarked that the situation was “moving very quickly,” noting that the riot officers likely didn’t deliberately try to injury Gugino.
“People in every single profession can make a mistake, and that mistake doesn’t mean that an intention to mislead is what occurred,” he told CBS News on Sunday.
Days before that, Brown said that Gugino was told by officers to leave the area several times, adding that a curfew was in effect at the time.
“One of the things that happened before was conflict among protesters and there was a danger of fights breaking out, and police felt it was important to clear that scene for the safety of protesters,” said Brown. Medics attended to Gugino “within seconds” of him falling backward, the mayor added.
Last week, Gugino said through his lawyer that he’s “encouraged and uplifted by the outpouring of support which he has received from so many people all over the globe” after he was diagnosed with a brain injury.