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Cops Saluted And Applauded An Officer Facing Assault Charges For Beating A Student Protester

Dozens of Philadelphia police officers clapped for Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna as he turned himself in on aggravated assault charges related to an incident caught on viral videos.

Last updated on June 8, 2020, at 2:55 p.m. ET

Posted on June 8, 2020, at 2:42 p.m. ET

Dozens of Philadelphia police officers saluted and applauded Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna on Monday as he prepared to turn himself in on aggravated assault charges for allegedly beating a student protester and severely injuring him.

Video from Fox 29 News showed Bologna saluting his fellow officers while leaving the headquarters of Philadelphia's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 to surrender to the police.

BREAKING: @PhillyPolice⁩ Staff Inspector Joe Bologna,54,leaves ⁦@FOPLodge5⁩ to turn himself in on felony charges for violent protest confrontation last week that severely injured ⁦@TempleUniv⁩ student,21, when hit on head with police baton ⁦@FOX29philly⁩

Many of the officers and supporters gathered outside the union's headquarters clapped and cheered for Bologna as he walked past them, with one woman patting him on the back.

A spokesperson for FOP Lodge 5 told BuzzFeed News that there were "several hundred active police officers, retirees, and other supporters at FOP in support of Inspector Bologna" on Monday.

"This is a very sad day for the Philadelphia Police department as one of our most decorated officers was formally arraigned on felony assault charges for doing his job, trying to keep our great city safe during recent unrest," the union said in a statement Monday.

"Just shows the support he has and how he's being railroaded," FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby told 6ABC.

Bologna, 54, is facing charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, possession of an instrument of crime, and recklessly endangering another person.

The 30-year police veteran was seen in viral videos using his metal police baton to strike 21-year-old Temple University student Evan Gorski in the head and arrest him during a protest against police brutality last week.

Gorski suffered "serious bodily injury," including a large head wound that required around 10 staples and 10 sutures, according to District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Bologna's attorney did not respond to BuzzFeed News' requests for comment.

Philly police attempt to disperse crowd after hundreds mased/gassed on Parkway. This was @ 5:30 as curfew nears. Dude w/ white shirt provokes scuffle, shoves baton into civilian’s throat. #phillyprotest #blacklivesmatter #GeorgeFloydprotests #protests2020

The FOP said it would "vigorously defend" Bologna against "these baseless allegations" and described him as one of the city's "most decorated and respected" police leaders.

"He was engaged in a volatile and chaotic situation with only milliseconds to make a decision," the union said in a statement on Friday.

The union is also selling T-shirts in support of Bologna that read "Bologna Strong."

Show your support for Inspector Joe Bologna 💙 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! @FOPLodge5 @john_mcnesby

A smaller group of supporters also clapped and cheered for Bologna as he arrived at the 15th District to surrender on Monday morning. He waved and said "thank you" to them.

From @FOPLodge5 HQ now here at @PhillyPolice 15th District to be booked, mugshot&fingerprinted on Felony Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Possession of an Instrument of crime/his metal police baton&recklessly endangering another person( @TempleUniv student,21) @FOX29philly

A similar show of support was seen for two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault for knocking over a 75-year-old man at a protest.

Dozens of people in police uniforms and "Blue Lives Matter" flag T-shirts cheered when the two officers, Aaron Torgalski, 39, and Robert McCabe, 32, left the courthouse after being released on Saturday.

#UPDATE: Cheers erupt as suspended Buffalo police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski leave the @DAErieCountyNY office after being arraigned on one count each of second degree assault. @news4buffalo

Soon after the two officers of the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team were suspended without pay following the incident, all 57 members of the unit resigned from the tactical unit, the Buffalo News reported. (They did not quit the police department.)

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