BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Martin Gugino, the protester who was shoved by two Buffalo police officers in Niagara Square in June, spoke publicly about the incident for the first time Wednesday.
Gugino, who suffered a fractured skull, said he is fine although he said has residual things that will never come back all the way and referenced his ear. "Look, I’m up…got a cane, no problem. I’m good. The city is not good," he continued.
The video of Gugino falling to the ground after allegedly being pushed by Buffalo police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski received worldwide attention. McCabe and Torgalski were suspended without pay and were charged with assault in the second degree in June. According to the Buffalo Police contract, officers can only be suspended without pay for 30 days, at which point they remain suspended but with pay.
“These were not two especially bad officers. The whole system is wrong," Gugino said of the incident. “The curfew is wrong. Mayor Brown needs to be taught what the 1st amendment means. The chief of police, whatever training he gave these guys is not right.
“You are allowed to protest on the sidewalk. Protest is the American way.”
Gugino was asked if he saw the video of the incident and said “I didn’t see it until a few days later. I thought, wow…that’s not good.” He said there was no reason for what happened to him "fall down, hit your head, blood comes out of your ear, carted off unconscious…there’s no reason for that."
In response to several rumors that he faked the whole thing Gugino said “don’t talk to me about that. That’s ridiculous. I don’t even want to talk to that.”
McCabe and Torgalski are due back in court for a felony hearing November 16.