“#Philadelphia cop faces assault charges in baton attack on protester”
Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna Jr. was captured in footage posted in social media pummeling Temple University student Evan Gorski during a June 1 protest and clashing with other demonstrators, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“This officer, Joseph Bologna of the Philadelphia police department, put himself, his colleagues, and a crowd of peaceful protesters in danger because of his inability to deescalate the situation,” Instagram user keepitdangerous wrote in a caption to a lengthy clip.
On Monday, Bologna, 54, surrendered to face the charges for the baton strike along the Ben Franklin Parkway.
Dozens of police officers showed up in a show of support for the cop outside of Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police before he made his way with his lawyer and union chief John McNesby to the 15th Police District.
Bologna waved to the crowd and shouted, “Thank you!”
After his arraignment, Bologna was released on $10,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing on June 25.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who pulled Bologna from street duty last week, promised a thorough investigation in the case, according to the Inquirer.
McNesby has defended Bologna as one of the most dedicated officers on the force and urged the public to reserve judgment.
He also disputed District Attorney Larry Krasner’s claim that the video showed Bologna striking Gorski in the head, saying the officer used his baton to hit the student in the shoulder, in accordance with police policy.
“Policing isn’t pretty,” McNesby told reporters. “We’re out there trying to quell situations. We had a riot situation going on.”
An attorney for Gorski told WPVI-TV that his client, who would have no comment, received 10 staple to close a gash on the back of his head.
McNesby could not explain the alleged head injury.
“That’s something you’d have to ask him, I don’t know how he got those staples. He sure as hell didn’t get them from Joe Bologna,” he told the news outlet.
“He gave his all for the city, 30 some years. He was the go-to guy that they called on, every commissioner,” McNesby added.
In a statement, Bologna’s attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., said his client “and his fellow officers were spit on, sprayed with urine and other chemicals as well as verbally and physically assaulted,” WPVI reported.
He added: “His use of force to apprehend an individual, who was trying to thwart a lawful arrest during a melee, was lawful and justified.”
A city official who attended the protest in a non-professional capacity told The Inquirer: “There was absolutely nothing I saw that required any kind of violent police response.”
Matthew VanDyke, a former documentary filmmaker who captured footage of the clash, called it “a bizarre escalation of force that came out of nowhere. The police just went nuts,” the paper reported.
Gorski was held for more than 40 hours before prosecutors decided to drop the case against him, his attorney Jonathan Feinberg told the Inquirer.
The Fraternal Order of Police has announced that it would begin raising money for Bologna by selling T-shirts for $20 that feature the union’s logo and a slogan reading “Bologna Strong.”
At least one cop broke with the union’s ranks.
“This is a slap in the face of every officer who pays dues and does not agree with what Joe did,” the officer, who asked not to be identified, told the Inquirer.
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