Charges against a Philadelphia police commander shown hitting a Temple University student with a baton during racial justice protests last year have been dropped.
Misdemeanor charges of simple assault, reckless endangerment and possession of an instrument of crime against Joseph Bologna Jr., 55, were dismissed Friday during a preliminary hearing, court records indicate.
District Attorney Larry Krasner had filed the charges after cellphone video showed Bologna repeatedly hitting Temple student Evan Gorski during protests over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died handcuffed as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
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Bologna’s actions caused Gorski to sustain “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,” Krasner said at the time.
Gorski was initially arrested but later released, and charges against him were dropped after the video of his beating went viral.
John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, which represents law enforcement officers in the city, called charges against Bologna a "rush to judgment" on the part of Krasner.
"Our union and police officers will not stand-by and watch Inspector Bologna get railroaded by a politically, opportunistic DA, who has turned his back on Philadelphia police and the city," McNesby said at the time.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also said at the time that the Philadelphia Police Department was launching an internal investigation into Bologna.