WATCH: Jeann Lugo Accused of Punching Opponent in Rhode Island

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Twitter Jeann Lugo

An off-duty police officer named Jeann Lugo is accused of punching his opponent for Rhode Island’s state Senate at an abortion protest.

Jennifer Rourke, who is running against Lugo, shared the video on Twitter on June 25, 2022. The incident occurred as protests grew throughout the country following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Update: Lugo has now been charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct, according to ABC7.

On Twitter, Lugo describes himself as “Father, builder, and currently serving as a Providence Police Officer.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Jennifer Rourke Wrote That She Was ‘Violently Attacked’

Rourke shared a short video clip on her Twitter page and wrote,

I’m a reproductive rights organizer & State Senate candidate. Last night, after speaking at our Roe rally, my Republican opponent – a police officer – violently attacked me.

This is what it is to be a Black woman running for office. I won’t give up.

According to the Providence Journal, hundreds of people rallied at the Rhode Island State Capitol to protest the Roe v. Wade overturning decision.

The newspaper reported that chaos erupted at the protest, writing that “conflict emerged during the evening after apparent counterprotesters entered the area.”

The Providence Journal asked Lugo about Rourke’s allegation. “I’m not going to deny,” Lugo responded to the newspaper. “It was very chaotic, so I can’t really tell you right now. Everything happened very fast.”

According to the Journal, Lugo claims that Rourke “became physical” with him first, which she denies. Lugo was not arrested, according to the newspaper, which quoted Rourke as saying, “To me, this feels like an act of political violence similar to the acts of violence that we have seen across the U.S. I’m a Black woman running for office. There was no need, no need for any of this. I’m not going to give up.”

Lugo had previously entered the race for lieutenant governor before switching to state Senate. He told Ray-ality TV of why he was running for office:

I’m running because in recent years I’ve seen the state change for the worse. I’ve seen a lot more violence, depression with our kids, the test scores [are] decreasing, mental health – there’s drugs on our street[s]. We had our economy just completely get tanked with COVID. The small businesses got destroyed. We have a population decline. I just don’t think that is the direction that I want this state to go to. We almost hit record murders last year. I have a lot of experience with this state when it comes to DCYF, when it comes to foster care, when it comes to social services, mental health, police. I believe that I have a unique perspective when it comes to these issues. And I believe that I could help the state correct itself.

Providence Police Confirmed That an Officer Was Under Criminal Investigation

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In a tweet, Providence police wrote,

The PPD is criminally investigating the behavior of an off duty officer last evening during a protest where a female was assaulted. The officer has served for 3 yrs and placed on administrative leave w/pay this morning, pending a criminal investigation and administrative review

Although the tweet doesn’t name Lugo as that officer, the Providence Police Department confirmed to ABC6 that the investigation is into Lugo.

READ NEXT: Read the U.S. Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v Wade.