Yesterday it was announced that the charges have been dropped against the two Buffalo, New York police officers who violently assaulted an elderly man last June, shoving him so hard that he fell over, smashed his head against the concrete, and began to bleed from the ear. The brutal incident occurred during the nationwide crackdown against peaceful protestors in the wake of the George Floyd killing. Displaying the same level of dishonesty we’ve unfortunately come to expect from most police departments, Buffalo PD initially claimed that the man simply “tripped and fell.”
Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old-man whose imagined crime was apparently that he dared to calmly walk up to heavily militarized officers, was even targeted by then-President Trump after a clip of the incident went viral. Trump implied that Gugino was in fact an “Antifa provocateur” signaling to his supporters that it was okay for them to cheer on the attack.
The horrifying incident was covered in extremely stomach-churning fashion by right-wingers who were thrilled that Gugino had been hurt simply because he supported Black Lives Matter. It’s worth noting that the same Blue Lives Matter crowd that defended the officers’ reprehensible behavior is the same crowd that had nothing to say when a MAGA mob stormed the Capitol and killed a police officer.
Now that the two officers, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, have been let off the hook the right-wing media machine is once again spinning to life to defend the grand jury’s decision. These cops pushed that old man for the simple thrill of it, as a way to light up a sadistic little corner of their reptilian brains, and yet conservatives would have us believe they were simply upholding the law.
Newsmax, an outlet that is quickly building a reputation for being even further right-wing and even more unhinged than Fox News, ran a segment on the Buffalo ruling in which host Grant Stinchfield, a staunch MAGA acolyte, said he was “glad” the officers weren’t charged.’
“I’m sad for that man who got pushed there, but he never should have been trying to stop that line of officers from doing their job,” said Stinchfield, misrepresenting what happened.
“And the push was really not that violent. The man at seventy-five was very feeble. He literally lost his balance and fell and almost immediately officers rendered aid. And yet there were many that wanted these officers charged of course with a crime for what I believe was simply doing their job,” Stinchfield went on.
In Stinchfield’s own words the 75-year-old was feeble. While Newsmax won’t admit this out of fear of upsetting their bloodthirsty audience, Gugino clearly posed no threat to the officers and their violence was completely unprovoked. Saying that these police officers had a right to attack an elderly man without consequence is signaling that you want to live in a fascist state. These people cannot be taken seriously in any moral or intellectual sense and it’s paramount that we outvote them every election.
— jordan (@JordanUhl) February 12, 2021
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.