Chief: Officer hit woman at abortion meeting, should be fired

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) — The chief of police in the capital of Rhode Island has recommended that a city official accused of assaulting a woman during an abortion rights protest should lose his job.

Patrolman Jeann Lugo’s “disturbing, egregious, harassing and unprofessional conduct while off duty has discredited your name and tarnished the proud reputation of the Providence Police Department,” Colonel Hugh Clements wrote in a five-page document detailing the results. are outlined from an internal investigation released Tuesday.

Lugo, 35, was charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct in connection with Friday’s State House showdown. Jennifer Rourke, the chair of the progressive Rhode Island Political Cooperative seeking the Democratic nomination for a Senate seat, said she was punched at least twice in the face by Lugo.

According to the internal investigation, Lugo hit Rourke with his right hand on the left side of her face, hit her again with his left hand in the area of ​​her face, and then walked away. The internal investigation also alleged that Lugo violated departmental rules and regulations regarding obedience to laws and regulations, standards of conduct, courtesy, rules of conduct and conduct.

“Based on the facts and circumstances presented to me, I have lost confidence in your ability and ability to exercise self-control and to behave in a polite, respectful and professional manner. Accordingly, I recommend that you terminate your employment as a police officer in Providence,” Clements wrote.

Lugo was a candidate for the GOP nomination for the same seat that Rourke is seeking. He ended his campaign the day after the protest, which was held in response to the US Supreme Court decision that same day overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which granted a constitutional right to abortion. .

An email and voicemail were left with Daniel Griffin, Lugo’s lawyer, on Wednesday.

Griffin said in a statement to The Providence Journal that he was “shocked and extremely disappointed.”

“Taking this decision so hastily is against due process and treatment,” he said. “It’s unclear if state police have even completed the full investigation, yet the city fired one of its own police officers — one with an impeccable track record — just 72 hours after the charges were filed.”

Lugo has been suspended with police pay and is free pending a court hearing scheduled for July 8.

Under law enforcement’s Bill of Rights, Lugo has five days to request a hearing. Griffin said he plans to do this.


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