A GOP State Senate Candidate Allegedly Punched A Democratic Opponent At An Abortion Rights Rally

Rourke tweeted the portion of the video showing the alleged assault, adding, “I’m a reproductive rights organizer & State Senate candidate. Last night, after speaking at our Roe rally, my Republican opponent – a police officer – violently attacked me,” she wrote. “This is what it is to be a Black woman running for office. I won’t give up.”

She told the Associated Press that before she was hit, she had been trying to escort out a counterprotester who’d agreed to leave. She and Lugo were both running for their party’s nomination for the same state Senate seat, though she told the AP they hadn’t interacted before.

“I’m disappointed he chose to use violence in this way,” she told the AP. “As a police officer, he’s trained to deescalate. He did not do what he was trained to do.”

The Providence Police Department, Rourke, and Lugo didn’t immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

Two other people were also arrested at the protest on suspicion of disorderly conduct. Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee on Sunday called the violence “outrageous” and said the individuals responsible must be held accountable.

Lugo has claimed that Rourke had become physical with him, which she has denied, the Providence Journal reported. The video also doesn’t show Rourke acting violently.

“I’m not going to deny,” Lugo told the Journal of the punching allegation. “It was very chaotic, so I can’t really tell you right now. Everything happened very fast.”

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