Providence Off-Duty Cop on Paid Leave After  Punching Political Opponent

Jennifer Rourke with her husband Thomas


An abortion rights protest devolved into chaos in Rhode Island on Friday, after a state Senate candidate was punched in the face by her Republican opponent.

“I’m a reproductive rights organizer & State Senate candidate. Last night, after speaking at our Roe rally, my Republican opponent—a police officer—violently attacked me,” Democrat candidate Jennifer Rourke tweeted on Saturday morning.

The alleged assailant, Jeann Lugo, is an officer in the Providence Police Department.

The Daily Beast

Police Officer (R) Jeann Lugo

Video from the demonstration shows Rourke holding her hands up and repeatedly asking people, in English and Spanish, to move away. She asked an antagonist to leave, and she said he agreed.

Then, video shows, someone struck her in the face. “I was hit multiple times,” she said.

Rourke identified the person who attacked her as off-duty Providence police officer Jeann Lugo, her Republican opponent for the State Senate District 29 seat. In response to questions from the Globe, Lugo on Saturday did not deny punching Rourke.

Boston Globe

Here’s what happened that led to the cop assaulting Rourke.

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