auto automobile blur buildings
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 A Providence police officer accused of assaulting a woman at an abortion-rights protest last month pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday.

Patrolman Jeann Lugo entered the plea during an arraignment in Providence. He was ordered to have no contact with the complaining witness.

Lugo, 35, was charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct in connection with the confrontation at the Statehouse on June 24. Jennifer Rourke, the chair of the progressive Rhode Island Political Cooperative seeking the Democratic nomination for a state Senate seat, said she was punched in the face at least twice by Lugo, who was off duty at the time.

Lugo was running for the GOP nomination for the same seat Rourke is seeking. He ended his campaign the day after the protest, which was held in response to the decision released the same day by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion.

Lugo struck Rourke twice, according to an internal investigation by the Providence Police Department, which alleged that Lugo violated department rules and regulations governing conduct. Providence’s police chief has recommended that Lugo lose his job. He is currently on paid suspension.

Daniel Griffin, Lugo’s attorney, said this month that his client “remains confident that the facts of this situation will be brought to light and show that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.”

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press (AP) is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.