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Martin Gugino "surprised" BPD Officers not being charged in protest push

Posted at 11:13 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 16:33:35-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Martin Gugino, the man seen being pushed to the ground during last June's protests in Niagara Square, says he's shocked that the charges against the officers were dropped.

"It's a surprise and I think the whole world is going to be surprised," Gugino said.

Buffalo Police officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe were charged with felony assault as the result of a confrontation between them and protester Martin Gugino. Today, a grand jury dismissed the charges. District Attorney John Flynn says they no longer face any charges.

"The grand jurors voted to no bill the case which means that they dismissed the case," Flynn said.

Grand jury trials are closed proceedings, so all records are sealed. The police benevolent association said they were pleased with the decision to dismiss the charges and maintain their support of the officers.

Meanwhile, Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo tells 7 Eyewitness News that both officers remain suspended pending the outcome of the internal affairs investigation. Both Gugino and District Attorney John Flynn disagree with the outcome.

"I'm not going to tell you that, in my opinion, the right thing happened here because I still believe that a crime was committed," Flynn said.

The grand jury found there was not sufficient evidence to indict the officers, but DA Flynn stressed Gugino broke the law by being out after the enacted curfew.

"Let's be honest here, Mr. Gugino committed a crime that day he was out after a curfew."

To which Gugino says this ruling will show other officers that what occurred is now justified.

"You think I am breaking the law, arrest me," Gugino said, "Don't push me down. Where is that in the training manual?"