TheHill reports Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown on Friday said was told that the 75-year-old man who was pushed down by police in a viral video was a “major instigator” and an “agitator.”
“According to what was reported to me, that individual was a key and major instigator of people engaging in those activities,” Brown told WBEN in a radio interview.
In a graphic video shot by a WBFO journalist earlier this week, Gugino is seen slowly approaching the police until one officer tells him to move and pushes him.
A person can be heard yelling,“He’s bleeding out of his ear!” and calling out for medics. Gugino is then seen lying on his back with blood spilling from his ear.
It’s unclear if the information Brown is citing is coming from the police department, who originally claimed Gugino tripped and fell.
Two Buffalo police officers involved have been suspended and charged with assault.
Upon their suspension, 57 officers resigned from the force’s Emergency Response Team.
Brown claimed that the police asked Gugino to leave the premises several times as law enforcement tried to disperse protesters after an 8:00 p.m. curfew.
“He was trying to spark up the crowd of people,” Brown said. “Those people were there into the darkness. Our concern is when it gets dark, there is a potential for violence. There has been vandalism, there have been fires set, there have been stores broken into and looted. According to what was reported to me, that individual was a key and major instigator of people engaging in those activities.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Video shows two police officers in Buffalo, New York, shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. The sound of a crack is heard and blood trickles from the man’s head https://t.co/JOGKvPOjoD pic.twitter.com/TBqs4gelmi
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 5, 2020