Leisure officer running for Rhode Island State Senate was arrested for allegedly beating political rival at abortion rights rally

Written by Javed Iqbal

Rourke said she de-escalated a situation with a counter-protester, “when my Republican opponent Jeann Lugo punched me several times in the face.”

The incident was captured on video, which appears to show Rourke stepping into an altercation at the protest and almost immediately after receiving a slap in the face.

Lugo was charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct after turning up Saturday afternoon, Erik Yanyar of Rhode Island State Police told CNN.

“After the demonstration, Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department received complaints about physical assaults that took place during the demonstration. As a result of a joint investigation between the two agencies, a Providence Police Patrolman, identified as Jeann Lugo, 35, was arrested. on the basis of a state police statement and arrest warrant on charges of simple assault and disorder, “Rhode Island State Police said in a statement.

The Providence Police Department said in a statement on Twitter Saturday that it was “criminal to investigate the behavior of a duty officer last night during a protest in which a woman was assaulted. The officer has served for 3 years and put on administrative leave w / pay this morning, awaiting a criminal investigation and administrative report . “
The department confirmed in a later tweet that Lugo was “the off-duty officer involved in this incident.”

Lugo said in a now inaccessible tweet that he is stepping down from the state’s Senate race.

“I will not run for office this fall,” Lugo said. His Twitter account is no longer available.

CNN contacted the Providence Fraternal Order of Police to inquire about possible legal representation for Lugo, but did not respond back Saturday night.

“Political violence like this is exactly why people like me often do not run for office. Working class candidates and black and brown candidates face violence and threats across the country,” Rourke, who is Black, said in his statement.

Two other people were arrested during the demonstration, according to authorities.

Video shows the alleged assault

Video recorded by Bill Bartholomew and shared with CNN appears to show the moment Lugo allegedly beat his then state opponent in the Senate at the abortion court hearing Friday night.

Rourke had spoken at the convention hosted by the WOMXN Project. Rourke is a board member of the group.

The incident occurred after a man who livestreamed the event was surrounded by convention attendees asking him to leave. Rourke is seen in the video wearing a pink shirt and asks the man to go.

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Suddenly, a man wearing a green jacket hits the man who is streaming the show on the side of his head. Rally participants immediately come to the aid of the man who was beaten and push the man with the green jacket off.

In the midst of the chaos, the video appears to show Lugo confronting Rourke and slapping her in the face with a right hand before backing up.

Rourke filed a report to Providence Police Friday night and to Rhode Island State Police Saturday morning. She was seen at a local hospital and told CNN in a statement that she had a headache and ringing in her ears.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza called the incident “extremely disturbing” after he said he saw the video.

“Unfortunately, I am limited in what I can say in public because of the LEOBOR (Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.) That said, I have seen the video and it is extremely disturbing. Those responsible will be held fully accountable. ,” he says. mayor said in a tweet.

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Javed Iqbal

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