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Protester Allegedly Assaulted by Buffalo, N.Y. Police Shares a Message for Well-Wishers


An attorney for the Buffalo, N.Y. protester injured after allegedly being assaulted by the police confirmed Friday to Law&Crime that the man’s skull was fractured.

Kelly V. Zarcone, the attorney, said via email that the protester, Martin Gugino, was “not able to walk yet” and could only “have a short conversation” with her “before he became too tired.”

Per Zarcone, Gugino “is appreciative of all of the concern about him but he is still focused on the issues rather than himself.”

“I think it’s very unnecessary to focus on me,” Gugino said in a brief, direct statement released through his lawyer.  “There are plenty of other things to think about besides me.”

The context is that Gugino “hopes people will focus on helping each other and peacefully addressing societal shortcomings rather than spend[ing] energy on him,” Zarcone explained.

Zarcone on Thursday said Gugino’s brain was “injured” and that he was starting physical therapy this week.  Before that, she said he would likely have to remain in the hospital for approximately two weeks.

Two Buffalo police officers, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, face second-degree assault charges over the incident.  Fifty seven fellow officers resigned from a detail, but not from the department as a whole, in protest.  A crowd of officers cheered for Torgalski and McCabe as the two men left court last weekend after entering pleas of not guilty.

Gugino’s injury was captured on video by Buffalo NPR affiliate WFBO.  The video went viral during protests surrounding the alleged murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.  The video gained further attention when President Donald Trump accused Gugino of being an “ANTIFA provocateur,” a claim Gugino’s attorney said was “dark, dangerous, and untrue.”

[Image via screen capture from WFBO/YouTube.]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.