A male off-responsibility Rhode Island law enforcement officer who was functioning for state Senate physically attacked his female political opponent at an abortion legal rights rally, she stated.
Providence Police said Saturday that they have placed the cop, Jeann Lugo, on compensated administrative leave as they introduced a legal investigation into Friday night’s alleged assault, which was captured on online video.
Courtesy Invoice Bartholomew — The Bartholomewtown Podcast
Lugo, who was operating for Senate District 29 as a Republican, dropped out of the race Saturday afternoon. “I will not be jogging for any office environment this fall,” he wrote on Twitter, just before temporarily deactivating his account.
Jen Rourke, a progressive working for the exact same seat who identifies herself as a reproductive legal rights organizer, mentioned that Lugo “violently attacked me” following her speech at the rally outside the house the state residence in Providence following the Supreme Court docket ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
“This is what it is to be a Black woman operating for place of work. I won’t give up,” Rourke wrote in a tweet that bundled a snippet of video clip of the incident.
The 5-next clip, taken by Invoice Bartholomew, a local journalist who operates The Bartholomewtown Podcast, appears to exhibit a male throwing two punches at a woman’s head, at minimum one particular of which connects with its focus on.
Rourke went to a medical center in Kent, Rhode Island, on Saturday for a CT scan, a campaign spokesman advised CNBC.
The Providence Police Department tweeted Saturday that it is “criminally investigating the behavior of an off-obligation officer very last evening through a protest exactly where a female was assaulted.”
The officer, afterwards explicitly determined as Lugo, has been placed on paid out administrative go away pending the end result of the evaluate, the section claimed. A spokesperson for the department did not straight away answer to CNBC’s requests for comment.
Ahead of dropping out of the condition Senate race, Lugo sent a assertion to CNBC showing to protect his actions devoid of denying that he punched Rourke.
“As an officer that swore to protect and provide our communities, I, unfortunately, noticed myself in a problem that no person should really see on their own in. I stepped in to defend another person that a team of agitators was attacking,” Lugo’s statement claimed. “At this second, there’s a pending inside investigation, and as the points of the incident occur to light-weight, I request that my household and I have privacy.”
Bartholomew, in an interview with CNBC, said that about 1,000 people today experienced attended the rally to protest the Supreme Court’s ruling, which on Friday early morning struck down the legal precedents that experienced guarded federal abortion legal rights for approximately 50 yrs.
About 10 users of a right-wing group recognised as the Liberty Fighters also showed up to the celebration, Bartholomew reported. One particular of individuals associates, who was filming, appeared to be goading some members of the group. After staying requested to go away, the person at to start with refused, then commenced to walk absent — but when he turned back again toward the group, somebody punched him in the deal with and stomped on him, Bartholomew reported. “A melee ensued,” the nearby journalist stated, at which position he noticed Rourke getting hit in the confront.
Neither Lugo nor other associates of the crowd who allegedly engaged in violence were arrested at that time, Bartholomew reported.
Rourke, in a assertion to CNBC from her campaign, explained she was “deescalating the problem and the counter-protestor was leaving when the altercation began.”
“I was assaulted as a end result of that,” she mentioned.
“This is what it is to be a Black female working for place of work. All across this region, people like me are threatened or attacked when they run. I’m not heading to quit preventing – for reproductive legal rights, for the people today in my district, or for persons like me who want to operate for office,” Rourke stated.