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After Joseph Bologna took his metal baton to the head of an anti-racist protester, his entire police union lined up behind him.
Bologna, a member of the Philadelphia chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, has been charged with aggravated assault, among other charges.
"Show your support for Inspector Joe Bologna 💙," said the union on social media, alongside an image of "Bologna Strong" T-shirts that will go on sale Tuesday.
Joseph Bologna, a police officer in Philadelphia, bludgeoned a protester on the head and neck with a metal baton last week. The protester, a student at Temple University, was arrested, detained for more than 24 hours, and then hospitalized. He needed around 10 staples and 10 sutures.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who won the position on a progressive platform in 2017, has charged Bologna with two counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, possession of an instrument of crime, and recklessly endangering another person, Krasner's office said in a statement on Friday.
In a show of solidarity with Bologna, his police union has honored him with a "Bologna Strong" T-shirt, which the Philadelphia chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police will begin selling in its "cop shop" on Tuesday.
"Show your support for Inspector Joe Bologna 💙," the union said in a post on Instagram Sunday. "T-Shirts will be available to buy in the cop shop on Tuesday, June 9th in sizes small to 3x for $20.00. Please Share!"
"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," Krassner said in the statement. "There can be no safety or peace without justice. My office will continue to hold people who cause harm to others equally accountable."
On Monday, Bologna, who was turning himself in, exited the union lodge to applause and whistles from his colleagues, video footage shows.
"We're with you all the way," one bystander says.
"You got it, brother," another says.
—Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) June 8, 2020
John McNesby, the union's president, said in a statement that he was "disgusted" by the arrest and would "vigorously defend" Bologna against the charges.
Elsewhere, officers have lined up behind their own.
Last week, two officers in Buffalo, New York, pushed an elderly man to the ground, and blood began pooling out of his ear and onto the concrete. When the pair was suspended and an investigation launched, their entire 57-officer police department resigned in solidarity.
"Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders," John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, told the Investigative Post.
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