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I give you just one of the more glaring examples of this lunacy, the case of Martin Gugino and his treatment at the hands of the Buffalo Police Department.

As has been the case in many cities, Buffalo’s “mostly peaceful” protests have been punctuated by violence. On June 1 in that city, two people were shot, stores were looted, and three officers were injured, one of them seriously, when a woman drove a car through a police line. The next day, in response to those incidents, Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz imposed a curfew, effective from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

On June 4, protesters were gathered in Niagara Square, a public plaza at the center of Buffalo’s government district. When they lingered beyond 8 p.m., Deputy Chief Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia ordered police to enforce the curfew and clear the area. Officers from the Buffalo Police Department and the New York State Police assembled in a skirmish line and began walking north in front of City Hall.

In a now widely seen video, shot by WFBO radio reporter Mike Desmond, Gugino can be seen walking directly toward the officers and stopping in the path of one of them. Note that Gugino is carrying (alas for him, not wearing) a helmet, suggesting he was a veteran protester and prepared for a confrontation.

Upon further scrutiny, Gugino’s behavior is even more curious. Note the odd way Gugino holds and manipulates his cellphone as he approaches and makes contact with the officers, pressing it against one and then another.

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