A Republican candidate for Rhode Island state Senate dropped out of the race on Saturday after a video that went viral allegedly showed him punching his Democratic challenger in the face during an abortion rights rally in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, according to Talking Points Memo.
In a video filmed Friday night, Rhode Island Democratic state Senate candidate Jennifer Rourke is seen at a rally outside the State House protesting the Supreme Court’s ruling ending the right to abortion. The video shows tensions escalating, with people throwing punches at each other. Rourke alleged that her GOP challenger, Jeann Lugo, punched her in the face. Lugo is a Providence police officer who was off duty at the time.
The Providence Police Department announced Saturday that it launched a criminal investigation and an administrative review of the “behavior of an off duty officer” during a protest on Friday night involving the assault of a female.
The Rhode Island State Police said Lugo was arraigned on Saturday. Following a joint investigation between the state police and the Providence Police Department, Lugo was arrested on a State Police affidavit and charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct. He was released on personal recognizance and assigned a re-arraignment date next month. He is suspended with pay from the Providence Police Department while the incident remains under investigation.
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