The suit was filed in U.S. District Court of the Western District of New York, per an NBC News report on Tuesday, and sees Gugino—who ultimately suffered a fractured skull due to the officers’ actions on June 4 of last year—seeking economic and punitive damages. Per the report, the punitive damages being sought are for “an amount sufficient to punish them and deter others from similar conduct.”
Named in the civil lawsuit are Buffalo cops Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, a third officer who wasn’t charged in connection with the incident, the city of Buffalo, the police commissioner, and Mayor Byron Brown. Earlier this month, the charges against McCabe and Torgalski—who had faced second-degree assault counts—were dismissed. And previously, all 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team were said to have resigned following the suspension of the two officers.
Gugino, who argued in the new lawsuit that his peaceful assembly right was violated and that the curfew at the time of the incident was unconstitutional, received national attention last summer when footage started widely circulating showing him being pushed to the ground by police amid protests that were spurred by the death of George Floyd. Floyd was killed during an arrest by police in Minneapolis, with officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck after he was cuffed and lying face down. Floyd’s death was met with protests all around the country.