A Rhode Island cop apparently forgot that he’s not Will Smith over the weekend, and now hitting his political opponent on camera could cost him more than a ban from next year’s awards shows.
The alleged abusive cop, Jeann Lugo of the Providence (R.I.) Police Department, was caught on camera punching pro-choice activist Jennifer Rourke during a protest over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. Lugo, who was off-duty at the the time, is a Republican who has tweeted in support of revoking the right to abortion in the past as part of his campaign for a seat in the Rhode Island State Senate. The woman he put his hands on was Democrat Jennifer Rourke, who is Black and also one of Lugo’s opponents in the race.
Rourke posted video of the incident to her Twitter page, which shows a man land one punch and appear to just miss with another before turning his back as an onlooker rushes him.
Providence police confirmed in tweets that Lugo was the officer in question and said the department is conducting a criminal investigation. Lugo tweeted on Saturday that he was dropping out of the race for a seat in the state’s legislature before shutting down his Twitter account altogether, according to the Daily Beast.
The Washington Post reported that the cop claimed he was there “to protect someone that a group of agitators was attacking,” and asked for privacy for he and his family.
Somebody should probably break the news that privacy is no longer a thing when a man with a badge punches an unarmed woman in the face.