Martin Gugino, Shoved to Ground by Cops, Files Suit

75-year-old protester who fractured his skull during confrontation is suing Buffalo, 3 officers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2021 12:00 PM CST

Last week, criminal charges were dropped against two police officers who were caught on video pushing 75-year-old protester Martin Gugino to the ground during a June 4 protest in Buffalo, NY, against police brutality and racism. Gugino, who fractured his skull and suffered a concussion as a result of the confrontation, isn't ready to let the officers, or several other parties, off the hook: CNN reports he filed a civil suit Monday against the city of Buffalo, in which he claimed his constitutional rights were violated, including those on his freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, unreasonable seizures, freedom from the unlawful use of force by government agents, and due process.

The complaint also names Byron Brown, Buffalo's mayor; police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, accused of shoving Gugino, and John Losi, who the suit says "shoved" McCabe and Torgalski toward Gugino; and other high-ranking police officials, including Commissioner Byron Lockwood, per HuffPost. In the complaint, Gugino says the officers used "unlawful and unnecessary force" against him while enforcing what he says was an "unconstitutional and draconian" 8pm curfew that was "selectively enforced against peaceful protesters" like himself. WGRZ notes the 55-page suit is asking for unspecified damages. The complaint adds that the amount sought should be "sufficient to punish them and deter others from similar conduct," NBC News reports. (More Buffalo stories.)

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