PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia judge dismissed charges against a former city cop who was captured on camera striking a student protester with a metal baton during a peaceful protest last summer, according to court documents.
Former Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna, 54, was freed from charges of reckless endangerment, possession of an instrument of crime and felony aggravated assault.
Bologna's attorney said a lack of evidence from witnesses lead to the charges being dismissed. According to attorneys Fortunato Perry and Brian McMonagle, Bologna has the option to be fully reinstated to his original position but remains unsure about returning to the force.
Bologna was allegedly captured on video in July striking Temple University student Evan Gorski on the head with a baton during a peaceful protest. Gorski's lawyer said his 21-year-old client needed 10 staples and 10 stitches to close his wound.
Video of the incident circulated around Twitter and sparked the ire of District Attorney Larry Krasner who charged Bologna with several offenses. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said she was "deeply concerned" about reports of excessive use of force by police against peaceful protesters.
Outlaw suspended Bologna for 30 days with intent to dismiss. Bologna turned himself in to at the Fraternal Order of Police headquarters in July.
Following the dismissal of the charges, Krasner released a brief statement.
"Justice must be applied equally and in an evenhanded manner. No one is above the law. We fully intend to pursue this case to a just conclusion."
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