Buffalo Mayor Acknowledges Mistake in Police First Saying Elderly Protester Tripped

The mayor of Buffalo, New York acknowledged Saturday his mistake in police first saying an elderly protester tripped, when the man was actually pushed before hitting head on the ground.

"What I'd like to say and what people are missing is that people in every single profession can make a mistake, and that mistake doesn't mean that an intention to mislead is what occurred," Mayor Byron Brown said in an interview on CBS This Morning that aired Saturday on the initial reports that came out about the elderly protester, Martin Gugino.

Video of Gugino's interaction with police went viral after the 75-year-old man was seen being pushed by police officers who were enforcing a curfew on June 4. Gugino fell back and his head bounced against the concrete sidewalk, resulting in a pool of blood accumulating around his head. The clip was recorded and posted to Twitter by WBFO, and has over 82 million views thus far.

"Just about an hour ago, police officers shove man in Niagara Square to the ground (WARNING: Graphic)," WBFO stated in the June 4 tweet.

Just about an hour ago, police officers shove man in Niagara Square to the ground (WARNING: Graphic). Video from: @MikeDesmondWBFO pic.twitter.com/JBKQLvzfET

— WBFO (@WBFO) June 5, 2020

When asked why the report was only corrected after the video of Gugino came out, Brown said that everything was "moving very quickly," adding that false reports went out about him calling Gugino an agitator, when he did not.

Attorneys for Gugino released a statement the day after the incident, stating that the elderly man is a "longtime peaceful protester" who advocates for human rights.

"At this time, Mr. Gugino is in serious but stable condition. He is alert and oriented. Mr. Gugino requests privacy for himself and his family as he recovers. He appreciates all of the well wishes he has received and requests that any further protests continue to be peaceful," the attorneys stated.

Gugino's lawyer, Kelly Zarcone, stated Friday that he suffered a brain injury and has begun physical therapy.

"As heartbreaking as it is, his brain is injured and he is well aware of that now. He feels encouraged and uplifted by the outpouring of support which he has received from so many people all over the globe. It helps. He is looking forward to healing and determining what his 'new normal' might look like," Zarcone said in a statement to NBC 4 News.

The two Buffalo police officers who can be seen in the video pushing Gugino back, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, have since been placed on leave before being charged with second-degree assault, to which both have plead not guilty.

Newsweek reached out to Brown's office for further comments, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Police and caution tape
Police officer standing next to caution tape. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images) Getty/Jewel Samad