The elderly activist seen in a viral video getting pushed over by police at a protest in Buffalo says he has no memory of it — including why he’d first confronted the cops.
Martin Gugino, 75, spent a month in a hospital recovering from a fractured skull and brain injury after cracking his head on the ground when cops shoved him over at the upstate George Floyd protest in June.
Gugino told USA Today that he recalls alarmed thoughts at seeing baton-wielding officers in helmets and protective vests advancing toward protesters — but “has no idea” what he said when he marched up to them.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God…’ and that’s all I can remember,” he insisted of the moment he staggered back and bashed his head on the ground after being pushed.
Despite ongoing nightmares, he dismissed his scary moment, saying that “a lot of people are injured, and a lot of people are killed” and that he was only getting so much attention because it was caught on video.
He also dismissed the numerous wild allegations made about him, including that he was an undercover cop or that the fall was a mask and he had fake blood under his mask.
“I was like, ‘Go ahead, take your best shot,” he said of the conspiracies that even led to death threats.
Gugino — who is recovering with family outside New York — believes the incident will prove a “turning point” in his life, even if he’s not sure how.
“My life is headed in a new direction,” Gugino said. “How is it different? I’m not really sure yet.”
Two Buffalo officers, Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, were charged with second-degree assault.
Both pleaded not guilty, and are currently suspended with pay, as officers cannot be suspended without pay for more than 30 days, USA Today said.
The City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Police Department declined to comment to the paper.
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