There’s been a heartbreaking development for an elderly protester who was filmed being shoved by police in the US.
Martin Gugino, 75, was filmed protesting outside Buffalo City Hall in New York on June 9 before an officer shoved him, causing him to hit his head on the ground and bleed.
The incident went viral and has become symbolic of the kind of police brutality that has sparked calls for fundamental reforms to American policing.
Buffalo’s police commissioner suspended two Buffalo police officers involved in the incident without pay, prompting dozens of other officers to step down from the department’s crowd control unit in protest. On Saturday, two of the officers were charged with felony assault.
Mr Gugino remains in hospital.
Kelly Zarcone, Mr Gugino’s lawyer, told NBC in a statement on Thursday her client suffered a brain injury.
She added Mr Gugino has started physical therapy.
“He feels encouraged and uplifted by the outpouring of support which he has received from so many people all over the globe,” Ms Zarcone told NBC.
“It helps. He is looking forward to healing and determining what his ‘new normal’ might look like.”
Mr Gugino’s friends said he’s a devout Catholic who’s dedicated his time to a number of causes in support of the less fortunate and disenfranchised including Black Lives Matter.
Mark Colville, who runs shelter Amistad Catholic Worker, said his friend “has a passion for social justice”.
“When he sees wrong he wants to be involved in making it right,” Mr Colville said.
Mr Colville said Mr Gugino is “shy and reserved” and “doesn’t make a spectacle of himself”.
“He likes to show up and be present,” he said.
“He likes to be involved in these movements for justice. But he doesn’t do it in a self-promoting kind of way.”
with The Associated Press
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