Rhode Island police officer on leave after allegedly assaulting political opponent at abortion rally

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A Rhode Island police officer who is also running for office was placed on administrative leave after he allegedly assaulted a political opponent during a pro-abortion rally.  

The Providence Police Department confirmed that officer Jeann Lugo, who is running as a Republican for state Senate, was placed on administrative leave Saturday morning after an altercation that occurred Friday night, WPRI-TV reported.

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

On Saturday, Providence police confirmed Lugo, who was off-duty at the time, as the officer in question.

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Lugo was not placed under arrest on Friday night, but police told Fox News Digital in a statement Saturday evening that he has been charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct. 

(Jeann Lugo for State Senate)

Jennifer Rourke, one of Lugo’s political opponents, alleges that he attacked her during a brawl as hundreds gathered at the Rhode Island State House to protest the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

(Jennifer Rourke Campaign Website)

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“This is what it is to be a Black woman running for office,” Rourke posted on Twitter along with a video from the altercation originally posted by journalist Bill Bartholomew. “I won’t give up.”

Lugo told WPRI–TV that he was “in a situation that no individual should see themselves in” and “stepped in to protect someone that a group of agitators was attacking.”

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The Rhode Island State House in Providence, RI is pictured on April 25, 2019. 

The Rhode Island State House in Providence, RI is pictured on April 25, 2019.  (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The Providence Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Lugo tweeted on Saturday that he is no longer running for state Senate and then deactivated his Twitter account.

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