Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old protester shoved to the ground by Buffalo police during a protest against police violence, told USA Today that while he does not want to be a symbol of a trend or movement, the June incident was a “turning point” for him. “My life is headed in a new direction,” Gugino told the outlet last week. “How is it different? I’m not really sure yet.”
A viral video shows Gugino approaching Buffalo cops during a protest in the wake of the death of George Floyd only for two officers to shove him unprovoked. As blood pooled around his head, officers walked by. The video was viewed by millions, including President Trump, who spread baseless conspiracies that Gugino was an antifa provocateur. All told, two officers were charged with assault and all the other officers in their unit quit in protest.
Gugino told USA Today he doesn’t remember the incident but video recordings have helped him fill in the blanks. He added that while he spent a month in the hospital recovering from a brain injury, “a lot of people are injured, and a lot of people are killed,” and often nothing is done after those incidents. “I come from the suburbs, and there’s no problem with police in a white neighborhood,” he said. “I’m not scared of the policemen, but the system is screwed up.”