According to court documents, a 75-year-old man who was seen being pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo and bleeding on the ground during a protest last year is suing officials and other officials.
Martin Gugino suffered a skull fracture at the June 4 video meeting.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the West District of New York, seeks economic damages as well as punitive damages “in an amount sufficient to punish them and deter others from such conduct.”
A prosecutor filed charges against two Buffalo officers, Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, but the grand jury dropped the charges earlier this month and the case was dropped.
These two officers are listed in the civil lawsuit, as well as a third who has not been charged, along with the city, police commissioner and mayor Byron Brown.
Email requests for comment to City Hall and the police department were not returned immediately early Tuesday, but the city had no comment on the NBC WGRZ subsidiary on Monday. A spokesman told the station that the corporation̵
Gugino was pushed out shortly after it took effect at 8 p.m.
The protest came after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck on May 25. Floyd’s death sparked protests across the country.
The complaint said the police team “shouted in unison,” push him, push him “after Gugino approached a number of police officers with truncheons and helmets.
It alleges that another employee pushed McCabe and Torgalski at the activist and they then pushed him, causing him to fall and be seriously injured.
After the allegations were dropped earlier this month, the president of the Buffalo Police Charity Association defended the actions of the officers.
“Officers McCabe and Torgalsky simply followed departmental procedures and instructions from their superiors to vacate Niagara Square, despite working in extremely difficult circumstances,” said union president John Evans in a statement.
Gugino suffered a concussion and a skull fracture and spent nearly a month in hospital.
Gugino said he thought the curfew was wrong.
The case alleges that Gugino’s right to peaceful assembly was violated, that the use of force against him was illegal and unnecessary, and that the curfew was unconstitutional.