Friends say Gugino is a Catholic peace activist, not Antifa

In this 2016 photo, Martin Gugino, right, holds a sign reading "Resist Racism," in Washington, D.C., as part of a protest over the 2014 killing of 12 year-old African American Tamir Rice in Cleveland.  Gugino and others demanded murder charges against police officers for the killing. (Mark Colville via AP)
In this 2016 photo, Martin Gugino, right, holds a sign reading "Resist Racism," in Washington, D.C., as part of a protest over the 2014 killing of 12 year-old African American Tamir Rice in Cleveland. Gugino and others demanded murder charges against police officers for the killing. (Mark Colville via AP)

(RNS) Is Martin Gugino an Antifa provocateur?

Or a beloved Catholic peace activist who was the victim of police brutality in Buffalo, New York?

A Tuesday morning (June 9) tweet from President Donald Trump suggested the former, drawing a wave of shock and outrage from friends of the 75-year-old activist who was shoved to the ground by Buffalo police during a protest last Thursday outside City Hall.

The incident, captured on video, went viral and has become symbolic of the kind of police brutality that has sparked calls for fundamental reforms to American policing. In the video, an officer is seen shoving Gugino, who falls to the sidewalk, hitting his head. As Gugino lies unmoving and bleeding, the officer who pushed him is seen hurrying away.

Gugino remains in the Erie County Medical Center in serious condition, though he is no longer in intensive care, a friend said.

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This content is written and produced by Religion News Service and distributed by The Associated Press. RNS and AP partner on some religion news content. RNS is solely responsible for this story.

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