• A Rhode Island Senate candidate accuses her opponent of assaulting her at a rally.
  • The incident happened at a Roe v. Wade rally on Friday.
  • Jennifer Rourke shared a video of the confrontation on Twitter. 

Police in Providence, Rhode Island, said they're investigating the "behavior of an off-duty officer" during a Roe v. Wade protest Friday evening.

The update came Saturday morning after a video online showed a man punching a woman at a protest following the Supreme Court ruling to overturn the landmark 1973 decision.

A Rhode Island state senate candidate said that during the protest on Friday she was physically assaulted by her political opponent, whom she identified as Jeann Lugo.

"This is what it is to be a Black woman running for office," Rourke, who reportedly filed a police report, tweeted. "I won't give up."

The incident happened outside the State House after Democratic candidate Jennifer Rourke spoke at the rally, The Providence Journal reported

Rourke said her Republican opponent punched her several times during the confrontation, according to the report. 


Providence Police Department said Saturday morning that the officer, who was off-duty, has served three years and was placed on administrative leave, "pending a criminal investigation and administrative review." Lugo was not named as the officer in their statement.

Lugo alleged that Rourke got "physical" with him, but she refuted those claims, the Providence Journal reported.  Lugo told The Providence Journal that he is "not going to deny" the accusations. 

"It was very chaotic, so I can't really tell you right now," he told the newspaper. "Everything happened very fast."

Lugo, Rourke, and the city of Providence did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.



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