Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images / npr

Trump claims 75-year-old man pushed by Buffalo police could be an 'ANTIFA provocateur'


Jun. 9 2020, Updated 1:08 p.m. ET

By now, you've probably seen the incredibly graphic footage of 75-year-old Martin Gugino being pushed by Buffalo police officers. In footage recorded by WBFO, the protester can be seen falling over after being pushed by the police. Blood immediately begins pouring out of Gugino's ears as a medic is called, and police continue to march by.

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Gugino is in a "serious but stable" condition, according to his attorney, Kelly Zarcone.

"Martin has acknowledged and sincerely appreciates the tremendous outpouring of support he has received nationwide. Martin and his family continue to request privacy as they focus on Martin's health and recovery," Zarcone said.

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But now, President Donald Trump has shared an unproven and unfounded theory that Gugino could be "an ANTIFA provocateur." 

In a tweet on Tuesday morning, President Trump cited the right-wing One American News Network while making the claim.

"Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur," President Trump claimed. "75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment @OANN. I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?"

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According to Matthew Gertz of Media Matters, the claim was made on OANN by "Kristian Rouz, a Russian national also on the payroll of the Kremlin’s official propaganda outlet, Sputnik."

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Two police officers, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, were charged with assault after the video went viral. They both deny the charges.

Martin Gugino has been a "longtime peace activist and volunteer at the Catholic Worker" for years, according to Jesuit priest James Martin.

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After the incident went viral, Martin took to Twitter to share photographs of Gugino from throughout the years.

He wrote: "The 75 year old man knocked to the ground by police in Buffalo, is a longtime peace activist and volunteer at the Catholic Worker, a movement dedicated to justice and peace, founded by Servant of God Dorothy Day, who also took to the streets to advocate for justice."

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Friends of Gugino spoke to the media after some social media users suggested that he provoked the officers by approaching them while they were clearing Niagara Square. Others, including OANN, believe that Gugino had ulterior motives for being there as his Twitter account, which has since been taken down, contained anti-police sentiment according to 7ABC.

Terrence Bisson told the publication that Gugino is "funny and gentle." 

"He's also an older white man in America and knows the privileges that come along with that," Bisson added.  "He'd never shout or oppose someone. He would ask questions if he thought something was not right." 

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"I've never heard him say anything like that in my life," Bisson said regarding the anti-police tweets.

After President Donald Trump's accusation, social media users took to Twitter to defend Gugino, and "he's 75" quickly began trending.

One user joked: "We have an unidentified white woman with a device in her hand. I think a scanner. Please advise on how to proceed."

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"The president is insane," another added. "He fell harder than he was pushed? He's 75. This is pure insanity."

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Another user added: "If a 75 year old man came up to me and tried to 'scan me' I'd walk the f**k around him.  HE'S 75!!!!  I sure as hell wouldn't push him down and walk away as I saw him bleed. WTF. You act like there was only one option: violence. You're disgusting."


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