Trump is promoting a conspiracy theory about a 75-year-old American man who lay bleeding in the street after police pushed him to the ground.
Donald Trump on Tuesday spread a baseless conspiracy theory about a 75-year-old man who remains in the hospital in "serious but stable" condition with a head injury after two Buffalo police officers pushed him to the ground. The man, Martin Gugino, had been protesting against systemic racism and police brutality near Buffalo's city hall.
"Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?" Trump tweeted, pointing to a segment from the right-wing channel One America News, which is known for pushing conspiracy theories.
The video of police pushing Gugino to the ground has become one of many incidents protesters are pointing to as evidence of police brutality. The disturbing video shows Gugino — a peace activist — laying motionless on the ground with blood pooling near his head as police walked by him without offering assistance. Two officers were charged with felony assault for the incident, the New York Times reported.
Trump's attack on Gugino is an attempt to tie him to the anti-fascist movement Trump and other Republicans claim is behind the violence and destruction seen at the protests against racism and police brutality across the country.
There is no evidence that Gugino is aligned with antifa, which isn't technically an organized group. Nor is there evidence that antifa is behind all of the violence.
However, federal law enforcement has arrested right-wing extremists for allegedly trying to spark violence at the protests.
Trump, meanwhile, has gotten dismal marks for how he's responded to the protests — including calling on the U.S. military to police its own citizens and tear-gassing peaceful protesters to stage a photo-op with a bible.
A Washington Post poll released on Tuesday found 61% of Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of the protests, and a Washington Post poll also found a whopping 81% of Americans think the police need to make changes.
Trump, however, has announced no policies for how to reform police departments.
At a press briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not mention any police reform proposals Trump supports.
"Look, the President, again, hasn't reviewed this piece of legislation," McEnany said, referring to a Democratic bill introduced Monday on police reforms. "The President is looking at what's a state issue, what's a federal issue right now. He's currently reviewing proposals, actually, on this very topic about police reform. So I'll leave it to him and not get ahead of him on that."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.