Justice for Jeann Lugo Despite the Defamatory Video
Jeann Lugo was acquitted in November of simple assault against Jennifer Rourke at the State House melee last June. The other criminal charge against Lugo, disorderly conduct, had been dismissed in August.
Now a three member panel of police officers, in a process arising out of LEOBOR, has unanimously voted to set aside the firing of Officer Lugo ordered by then-Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements. Current Providence Police Chief Colonel Oscar Perez has indicated he will abide by the panel’s decision.
Heartfelt thanks to both Judge Joseph Terence Houlihan (especially Judge Houlihan) and to the three members of the panel for wisely looking at all of the evidence and delivering justice to a falsely accused man.
Two matters stand out for me.
> Now that Jeann Lugo has been held to account, Jennifer Rourke needs to be held to account for her actions of both that night and the aftermath. She is clearly seen (major credit to WPRO’s Tom Quinlan for posting this full video) assaulting both Lugo and another man by violently shoving him. And she lied under oath twice about her actions to investigators.
> Jean Lugo should unquestionably sue Bill Bartholomew for defamation including maximum damages. None of this – a mob ginned up against Lugo leading to his being criminally charged; former Police Chief Hugh Clements rushing to order the termination of Lugo; the criminal trial of Lugo; the baseless damage to his reputation – would have happened had Bartholomew not created and released a very short video of the incident that was so extremely edited that it was a palpable lie.
A video that deliberately cut out what preceded Lugo’s actions in using an open-handed defensive technique against Rourke.
A video that cut out Rourke repeatedly laying hands on Lugo and physically restrained him from trying to defend Josh Mello, who had just been sucker-punched.
A video that conveyed the completely false story that a man had struck a woman; a white cop had struck a black person; a male candidate for public office struck his female opponent – out of the blue, for no reason.
I contend, in fact, that Lugo actually has an obligation to file a defamation suit against Bartholomew because such litigation is a righteous and powerful way of discouraging the future creation of similarly false, harmful videos by people hungry for clicks and attention and, specifically in this case, by someone who has reached for stepped up credibility by conferring on himself the title of “Journalist” – something that, remarkably, Bill Bartholomew has done.
[Featured Image Credit: screenshot from Tom Quinlan’s video of the melee.]
Great, Spot On, Very Appropriate Article! Rourke and Bartholomew both need be sued to the Max. More-so, Rourke should be charged for assault!!
Thank you, Tom. I’ve been thinking about it. Bartholomew didn’t just defame Lugo with that highly clipped video, he actually framed him. Maybe that wasn’t the intent but it certainly was the outcome.