Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna turned himself in and was arraigned Monday after District Attorney Larry Krasner announced the high-ranking police officer would be charged with aggravated assault for his treatment of a protester last week.
Bologna, who the police union characterized as one of the department’s “most decorated and respected” leaders, was caught on video hitting a man with a baton and tackling him after he tried to intervene in an altercation.
The incident occurred June 1 at around 5:30 p.m. on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Prosecutors said the man, identified in multiple reports as Temple University student Evan Gorski, suffered a serious head wound that required 10 staples.
Gorski was arrested and detained by police for more than 24 hours before the District Attorney’s Office declined to charge him.
Bologna, who has served in the department for three decades, is being charged with first-degree felony assault, possession of an instrument of crime, reckless endangerment and related crimes, the DA’s Office said.
Another video has surfaced involving Bologna, which shows him appearing to attack a woman during a march on Market Street in Center City.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, which represents officers in the city, quickly came to Bologna’s defense.
“He was engaged in a volatile and chaotic situation with only milliseconds to make a decision,” the FOP said in a statement.
The union on social media said “Bologna Strong” T-shirts will be on sale for $20 Tuesday at its headquarters in the Far Northeast.
“We are trying to be fair,” Krasner said in a statement. “Accountability has to be equal. This moment demands a swift and evenhanded response to violent and criminal acts based on the facts and evidence.”
Krasner and the FOP have been battling for years, and the decision to charge Bologna seems to have widened the chasm.
The union’s leadership, in a statement, accused the DA’s Office of rushing to judgement and filing charges before conducting a complete investigation. The FOP said it won’t allow Bologna to “get railroaded by a politically opportunistic DA.”
“These charges clearly illustrate Krasner’s anti-police agenda in Philadelphia,” the FOP said. “Along with arsonists, looters and thieves, Krasner is complicit in the destruction of our great city.”
Union leaders said they await the day Bologna is exonerated and allowed to return to the street.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also released a statement but declined to take sides on the issue. She said the PPD is aware of the incident involving Bologna and is investigating it through its Internal Affairs Division.
“To be clear, the District Attorney’s decision to charge Staff Inspector Bologna does not diminish or detract from the efforts of our many officers who have worked tirelessly for extended hours and under tense and stressful conditions,” she said.