Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna has been charged with assault after a video circulated of him beating Evan Gorski, a Temple University student, during a protest. But according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, his fellow officers on the force are outraged — and may stage a “sickout” in protest.
“John McNesby, head of the city’s police union, came to Bologna’s defense, calling him one of the city’s ‘most decorated and respected police leaders’ who had to make a split-second call in a chaotic situation,” reported William Bender and Jeremy Roebuck. “By Friday evening, talk was circulating about a ‘blue flu,’ or organized move by officers to call in sick in solidarity with Bologna, as another round of demonstrations, with crowds anticipated in the thousands, was set to take place Saturday in central Philadelphia.”
“Command staff warned that such a move would only put other officers at risk,” continued the report, with Capt. Christine McShea of the 16th District telling her staff in an email, “While it may feel good and provide satisfaction in the moment, [it] will only lead to the potential of other officers and supervisors being seriously injured.”
“The video shows Bologna … striking Gorski sharply on or near his head and tackling him, while another officer presses Gorski’s face to the pavement by placing his knee on the back of his head and neck,” said the report. “Other video clips have since emerged on social media showing Bologna involved in similarly aggressive behavior toward people protesting oppressive policing.”
Watch the incident below:
NEW TONIGHT: Philadelphia area district attorney will prosecute Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna on a charge of Aggravated Assault for busting open the head of a college student by hitting him with a police baton during protests. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/6SixH8BwU1
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) June 6, 2020