A Philadelphia police staff inspector received cheers and applause from dozens of officers on Monday before turning himself in on charges stemming from the alleged assault of a protester.
Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna was charged last week with aggravated assault, simple assault, possession of an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person after video showed him striking a Temple University student who was peacefully protesting in Philadelphia following the death of George Floyd.
As Bologna left a Fraternal Order of Police lodge to turn himself in, video captured a huge crowd of officers applauding him. Bologna, who was escorted by his lawyer and police union head John McNesby, was then driven to the police district, where he surrendered to the charges.
BREAKING: @PhillyPolice Staff Inspector Joe Bologna,54,leaves @FOPLodge5 to turn himself in on felony charges for violent protest confrontation last week that severely injured @TempleUniv student,21, when hit on head with police baton @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/VsJSYSseHY— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) June 8, 2020
A smaller crowd of officers awaited outside the 15th District to greet Bologna as he arrived, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bologna reportedly shouted “thank you" to those in attendance. He is expected to be released later Monday following booking and arraignment.
Video first emerged on June 1 of Bologna striking a protester with a baton as he and other officers attempted to disperse a crowd protesting on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The clip, which was shared widely across social media, prompted Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw to announce an internal investigation into Bologna's behavior.
Philly police attempt to disperse crowd after hundreds mased/gassed on Parkway. This was @ 5:30 as curfew nears. Dude w/ white shirt provokes scuffle, shoves baton into civilian’s throat. #phillyprotest #blacklivesmatter #GeorgeFloydprotests #protests2020 pic.twitter.com/XDKOMbr0Sr— Peopledelphia (@Peopledelphia) June 1, 2020
That same day, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced charges of assault against the police inspector. In a statement, prosecutors said that the student had been arrested and detained for a day following the incident. But they said that they had declined to charge the student after reviewing video and other evidence from the scene.
They added that the student suffered "serious bodily injury, including a large head wound that required treatment in a hospital while under arrest, including approximately 10 staples and approximately 10 sutures."
McNesby, president of FOP Lodge 5, denounced the charges filed against Bologna, claiming that they showcased Krasner's "anti-police agenda." McNesby also held that Bologna was engaged in a "volatile" situation with only "milliseconds to make a decision."
"Along with arsonists, looters and thieves, Krasner is complicit in the destruction of our great city," he said in a statement, vowing to "vigorously defend Bologna against these baseless allegations and charges."