Protester shoved to ground has skull fracture, lawyer says

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A 75-year-old protester who struck his head on pavement after being shoved back by police remained hospitalized Tuesday with a fractured skull, his attorney said.

Martin Gugino's lawyer has told media outlets in recent days that he had not yet been able to walk. Attorney Kelly Zarcone said in an email Tuesday there was no change in his condition and that she expects only gradual improvement.

Two Buffalo police officers have been charged with second-degree assault after a widely shared video captured Gugino falling to the ground after being pushed on June 4. He was seen bleeding from his head as officers walked away.

The officers, who could face prison sentences of up to seven years if convicted, have pleaded not guilty.

The video is one of several that have emerged in recent weeks showing police using seemingly excessive force against protesters.

The Buffalo-area retiree has been described by friends as a veteran peace activist driven by his Catholic faith and a desire for social justice.

President Donald Trump soon after claimed on Twitter, without evidence, that the elderly protester “could be an ANTIFA provocateur” involved in a possible setup. The president's tweet was widely criticized and the accusations were dismissed by Zarcone as ”utterly baseless and ridiculous.”