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Protester Knocked Down By Buffalo Police Leaves The Hospital Nearly One Month Later


Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old protester pushed to the ground by Buffalo police earlier this month, has been released from the hospital after nearly four weeks.

Gugino's attorney, Kelly Zarcone, said in a statement he was released from the Erie County Medical Center on Tuesday and will recover at location that won't be disclosed because of privacy considerations.

"I was able to see Martin today and he looks great," she said. "He can walk with a little help and his condition will continue to improve with rest and time. I brought him the cards and letters sent to my office and he said he still felt overjoyed at the continued support and well wishes, 'like it was Christmas Day.' "

Gugino fractured his skull at a June 4 protest against racism and police brutality outside Buffalo City Hall when riot police officers shoved him, causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the sidewalk. The incident was captured on video by NPR member station WBFO, and quickly went viral on Twitter.

In the graphic video, Gugino approaches the officers as they begin clearing the area for a curfew. Two police officers push the elderly protester backward, and he can be seen lying on the ground, bleeding from the head. One officer appears to bend down to help him before being pushed along by another officer.

The following day, Gugino's attorneys said in a statement that the "longtime peaceful protester" was in "serious but stable" condition.

Two Buffalo Police officers, Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, were suspended without pay after the incident, and have been charged with one count each of second-degree assault. Both officers have pleaded not guilty.

"Martin said that he is pleased at the progress made so far to protect the safety of peaceful protesters, a topic near and dear to his heart," Zarcone added. "He respects the burden of authority placed upon law enforcement but looks forward to the continued implementation of systemic changes to eliminate police brutality."

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