The District Attorney’s Office refiled charges against a Philadelphia police commander who was captured on video hitting a Temple University student with a baton during racial justice protests last year.
Misdemeanor charges of simple assault, reckless endangerment and possession of an instrument of crime against Joseph Bologna Jr., 55, were dismissed last month during a preliminary hearing. On Thursday however, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office confirmed with NBC10 those same charges against Bologna were refiled.
“Philadelphians demand even handed justice and we are trying our very best to give them exactly that,” District Attorney Larry Krasner wrote in a statement. “Our oath to seek justice requires nothing less.”
They have not yet confirmed however whether or not Bologna is in police custody.
Krasner had initially 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.
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.
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Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also said at the time that the Philadelphia Police Department was launching an internal investigation into Bologna.
John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, which represents law enforcement officers in the city, called the initial charges against Bologna a "rush to judgment" on the part of Krasner.
McNesby released a statement Thursday on Krasner's decision to refile charges.
"This is not unexpected from a District Attorney, who craves media attention and is facing a primary challenge from inside his own party," McNesby wrote. "DA Krasner is clearly running away from his failed record over the past three years and this latest decision to re-charge this officer is not based on facts or evidence."
McNesby said the FOP will continue to support and defend Bologna, describing him as a "highly decorated and respected member of the Philadelphia police department."