Evan Gorski, a Temple University engineering student, filed a lawsuit Monday against the former Philadelphia Police Department inspector who allegedly struck his head with a metal baton unprovoked during a racial justice protest on Vine Street near 22nd in June 2020, violating his First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
“The fact that such extreme misconduct was allowed to happen in the middle of a peaceful protest against police brutality is telling,” wrote Jonathan Feinberg, Gorski’s lawyer, in a statement to The Temple News. “We intend to show through this case that a long-standing culture of tolerance for misconduct led directly to the violation of Mr. Gorski’s civil rights.”
Gorski alleged Joseph Bologna, the former PPD staff inspector, swung and hit him in the head while he was helping another demonstrator at the protest, leaving him with a wound that required 10 surgical staples. He was brought to the hospital for his injuries and held in custody for approximately 42 hours before the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office declined to charge him after seeing a viral Twitter video of the incident, The Associated Press reported.
The suit also named the City of Philadelphia and two PPD officers who allegedly were witnesses and conspired with Bologna to cover up the incident by falsely charging Gorski with aggravated assault of a police officer.
The DA’s Office charged Bologna with aggravated assault in 2020, and he was fired days later, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Bologna’s criminal trial will begin next month, and he’s facing charges of simple assault and possession of a crime instrument. A municipal court judge originally dropped these charges – along with the aggravated assault charges – in January 2021, but a Court of Common Pleas judge reinstated them in August 2021, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
A Montgomery County woman also sued Bologna in October 2021 for allegedly tackling her on 10th Street near Market during a protest the day after he allegedly struck Gorski, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Gorski did not respond to The Temple News’ request for comment.