Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced Friday he is filing aggravated assault and related charges against Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna for an incident involving a Temple University student on Monday.
Video posted on social media shows a police officer shove a protester on the Ben Franklin Parkway, then hit someone on the head with a baton.
The District Attorney's Office says the video is of Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna committing a crime.
According to the DA, Officer Bologna struck the Temple University student in the head with an ASP, a collapsible metal police baton, resulting in the student needing 10 staples.
The student was initially arrested by Philadelphia police. But after Krasner saw the video, his office declined to charge the student.
Instead Bologna, who is a 30-year police veteran, will face prosecution for his role in the incident, officials confirm.
Bologna faces charges of Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Possession of an Instrument of Crime, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person.
"We are trying to be fair. Accountability has to be equal. This moment demands a swift and evenhanded response to violent and criminal acts based on the facts and evidence," said Krasner. "Americans are taking to the streets to demand a remaking of political, economic, and legal systems that serve the powerful at the expense of citizens' health, welfare, and lives. There can be no safety or peace without justice. My office will continue to hold people who cause harm to others equally accountable."
FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby says inspector Bologna's dedication to the city is unmatched.
"Inspector Bologna is one of the most dedicated hard working individuals in the city of Philadelphia," said McNesby. "And he's been out there doing what he's supposed to be doing, protecting the city."
McNesby says Krasner has rushed to judgment in filing these criminal charges without a complete and thorough investigation.
"We're going to back Inspector Bologna all the way through and have all available resources available from myself and this FOP to him."
In response to the charges, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw issued the following statement Friday evening:
Today, I learned from Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner that he has filed criminal charges against Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna, who is assigned to the Police Department's Patrol Bureau. While I have not been made privy to the entirety of the information that led to Mr. Krasner's decision to charge Staff Inspector Bologna today, I am aware that the charges stem from an incident involving the application of force, which occurred on Monday, June 1, approximately 5:30 p.m., in the area of 2400 Ben Franklin Parkway. As I stated earlier today, an internal affairs investigation had already been initiated; and irrespective of the District Attorney's prosecution, the internal affairs investigation will continue.
As a Department, we do not condone the criminal acts of any person, and it is my sincere hope that the District Attorney does, in fact, hold all people who cause harm to others equally accountable.
To be clear, the District Attorney's decision to charge Staff Inspector Bologna does not diminish or detract from the efforts of our many officers who have worked tirelessly for extended hours and under tense and stressful conditions. These officers have demonstrated professionalism, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to our mission during tenuous and often volatile periods.
As is always the case, throughout this protracted period of unrest, we will continue to vigorously uphold and support every person's constitutionally protected freedom to peacefully assemble, and grieve governmental, societal and economic injustice.
Inspector Bologna has been removed from street duty and, with that, his firearm has been taken.
Meanwhile, in Delaware County, another police leader is under investigation after a social media post Wednesday night.
The post read: "If you choose to speak out against the police or our members, we will do everything in our power to not support your business. 1st Vice President Robert "Skippy" Carroll"
County FOP Lodge No. 27 vice president Sgt. Carroll, who serves with the Media Borough Police Department, has been removed from active duty, officials say.
Carroll had reposted the message to his personal page with the caption: "Try us. We'll destroy you."
County residents out protesting Friday say it's disturbing.
"That is really telling," said Heather McGonigle of Upper Darby. "That is what the system has been for centuries, where you have someone in authority who gets to make up the rules."
Natalie McGonigle said, "He can say something like that and get support, but if someone of color were to say that, they'd be a monster."
Protesters were especially upset about the phrase "destroy you."
"I don't think that word should be used against any American or any person in this country," said Roland Williams of Upper Darby.
Dan Wolf, owner of Wolf Superior Sandwiches in Aston, says Carroll's remarks were directed specifically towards him after a misunderstanding on social media.
In fact, the two met to shake hands and clear things up with Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.
"I can tell you right now, you have nothing to fear from the police. In Delaware County, they've always stood by their people and have been there when we've needed them," said Wolf.
But residents say the damage is done.
Another protester said, "It's an abuse of their power they just want to scare you. To not speak out against police brutality? I don't know, I'm still going to do it."
FOP Lodge No. 27 and Sgt. Carroll issued a statement after his post:
"Recently, a team member of ours posted an inappropriate comment on this platform directed at our business community, we offer our sincere apology and ask for your forgiveness. This post did not meet the integrity or values of our 11-hundred members and we're sorry for the mistake.
We promise to do better and we have heard loud and clear the anguish of those in Delaware County and across the nation. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our business community, residents and law enforcement as we address concerns raised by peaceful demonstrators and protesters. Our officers pledge to serve our boroughs and townships with dignity, respect and professionalism."