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After Grand Jury dismissal, Martin Gugino and India Walton speak on law enforcement reform

Thursday’s news that a grand jury dismissed felony charges against two Buffalo Police Officers has put Martin Gugino’s name back in the national spotlight. Gugino was filmed being shoved to the ground by officers during a June protest in front of City Hall.

Gugino, who suffered a fractured skull in the incident, says he has no problem with the jury’s dismissal, but recognizes flaws in the criminal justice system.

“I don’t criticize them. I just think something was wrong there. Something happened and everybody knows it. That was bad, and we don’t seem to know what to do about it.”

Gugino said his incident does not help to bridge the growing distrust between the public and the police.

Speaking on her endorsement Friday morning by the Buffalo Democratic Socialist of America, Mayoral candidate India Walton said the grand jury dismissal of the case against the officers speaks to a larger accountability problem within the city.

“We saw cops, who pushed down a 75-year old member of the community get off scot-free,” she said. “There needs to be accountability and there can be accountability. We can govern together.”

The two officers, Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, remain suspended with pay, pending an internal affair investigation.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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