A judge reinstated some charges against a fired Philadelphia police inspector accused of striking a protester in the head with a metal baton during a racial injustice demonstration captured on video in 2020.
The judge on Tuesday reversed part of an earlier decision, finding the District Attorney’s Office had presented enough evidence to pursue charges of simple assault and possession of an instrument of crime against Joseph Bologna. The court dismissed counts of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.
Bologna was arrested in June 2020 and subsequently fired after video circulated widely on social media showed the 31-year veteran of the police force hitting a 21-year-old Temple University student in the head and neck area with a baton during a protest following the murder of George Floyd.
The student was knocked to the ground. He was initially arrested but was later released, and charges against him were dropped.
“The people demand accountability from powerful institutions, and that means the law must apply equally to all. My office seeks every day to hold those who cause harm accountable in a fair and evenhanded way, regardless of the office they hold or the badge they wear,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement. Krasner’s office disagreed with the judge’s decision to dismiss some of the charges.
Bologna’s lawyers declined comment.
The police union vowed to continue fighting for the former officer.