Philadelphia Officer Beats College Student
Inspector Joseph Bologna, a 31-year veteran with the Philadelphia Police Department, is facing multiple accusations of abuse during the George Floyd protests, with the most serious being striking a college student on the head with his collapsible metal baton. Bologna’s unprofessional behavior ranges from instigating violence during a peaceful rally, through twisting a woman’s fingers so badly that her hands turned blue and culminating with the improper use of his baton which has resulted in criminal charges being filed against him.
Officers are trained not to strike a person in the head with their baton. Yet, Bologna ignored that training and struck Evan Gorski, a 21-year old Temple University college student, on the back of his neck and back of his head. The blows from Bologna’s metal ASP gashed open Mr. Gorski’s head so badly it required 10 stitches to close the sub-layer and 10 staples to close the outer layer.
Bologna Is Not New To Misconduct
But this is not Bologna’s first brush with trouble. Rather than go through it all we’ll go with the most recent. Bologna was in the Pulitzer winning series, “Tainted Justice.” According to City & State Philadelphia,
“…which outsiders say earned a track record for unwarranted stops and seizures under Bologna.
A 29-year veteran of the department, Bologna is perhaps best known to the public for his role in the decade-old “Tainted Justice” corruption scandal, which saw members of a narcotics unit accused of stealing cash from corner stores. Infamous video footage shows Bologna instructing his subordinates to disable a security camera during a raid at one bodega, although no officers were ever charged with a crime.
Bologna, however, was later suspended by officials for failing to properly supervise an officer accused of conducting warrantless searches. In the wake of the scandal, he moved to the 19th District.”
I found a Wordpress document on the internet that says that Joseph Bologna applied for commander training at the FBI but did not pass their background check. I am unable to verify this information since the document doesn’t give any links. The only reason I’m listing it is because of the other information in it that can be verified through a Google search.
Supporting Police Brutality
When Joseph Bologna left the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5, to turn himself in on the aggravated assault charges, a crowd of officers was waiting outside and began to cheer when he walked out. It didn’t matter to those officers that this man was involved in stealing from the people in his community, whether actively or by allowing his officers to do it. It didn’t matter to those officers that Bologna instigated violence at the George Floyd protests that could have caused civilians or other officers to get hurt. It didn’t matter to those officers that while a woman was patiently waiting to be loaded into a van, with her hands zip tied behind her back, that Bologna went behind her and twisted her fingers so severely she’s not sure if they are broken. And it didn’t matter to those officers that Bologna ignored his training and struck a person on the head with a metal baton. All they saw was, how dare anyone hold us accountable.
How can the rest of us look at that behavior and ever believe that police officers will stop abuses by other officers. We know it won’t happen. That’s why we need new laws and oversight. It’s why we need to get rid of qualified immunity. The abuse has to stop. And it will have to be the public and legislators who do it, because cops won’t.
You can read the official complaint here.