By now many people have seen the viral video of Martin Gugino, a 75-year old protester who was shoved to the ground during a Black Lives Matter protest in Buffalo NY on June 4, 2020.
Martin Gugino turns out to be a 75-year old peace activist associated with the Catholic Worker Movement who worked with the Western New York Peace Center after his retirement. In the video Gugino is seen approaching the officers to engage with them about something, two of whom then shove him away from them.
Now, to be fair, it didn’t look like the two officers who shoved him were trying to hurt him. Tall and gangly, he stumbled back awkwardly and clearly fell very hard. He can be seen bleeding out of one ear.
At that point, it was the officer’s duty to take care of him, and they didn’t do that. Instead, they just walked past him. Adding insult to injury, the police in their official reports initially claimed that Gugino had been injured when he “tripped & fell,” (conveniently omitting the helpful push).
Because it was all captured on video (which subsequenty went viral), the two police officers –Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski — were charged with a 2nd degree assault and fired from the police force. In response, all 57 police officers from the Buffalo Police Department resigned from an emergency response team (but not the Department), demonstrating once again the power of the thin blue line.
Never one to leave well enough alone, President Drumpf soon weighed in with a tweet suggesting that Gugino was an “ANTIFA provocateur,” after “appearing to scan police communications to black out the equipment,” and that it “could be a setup.”
Where did Drumpf get this misinformation? From the One America News Network, a “far-right pro-Trump cable channel owned by Herring Networks, Inc.,” founded by businessman Robert Herring. The network “has a minuscule audience, attracts few readers on the web and has struggled to break into the television mainstream,” but has at least “one powerful viewer in the White House” who is only too happy to amplify their crackpot conspiracy theories. 1
There he is again, our Divider-in-Chief, trying to get everyone to row in different directions at the same time.
- Snopes went through the exercise of debunking the claim that Gugino was an ANTIFA agitator, for which claim (of course) they found no evidence.