While I was busy driving around tourists and the few locals that haven't been displaced by every rental property in Newport & Middletown turning into an Airbnb, little ole Rhode Island had not one but two viral moments of violence! Rhody! Rhody! Rhody!
First, Friday night at an abortion rights protest at the State House, in a moment straight out of 2012's The Campaign, a police officer and Republican candidate for State Senate, Jeann Lugo, two-pieced Jennifer Rourke, a black woman in the face. That woman just so happens to be the Democratic candidate for the same position. Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!
I'd like to think that no matter where you fall politically, men hitting women is a no-no, but apparently not for this piece of shit Republican candidate. Lugo has since withdrawn from the race and is currently on paid-leave from the Providence Police Department.
Not to be outdone early Sunday Morning, in my favorite part of the state, Newport, clips of cops using excessive force on Thames St. have gained hundreds of thousands of views.
Anyway you slice it, it's a bad look for the state. When's the last time Rhode Island was in the news? Hocus Pocus 2 filming in Newport? Now we've got two cases of viral violence in one weekend right at the start of peak tourist (and business) season. Sure they'll be plenty of boot lickers saying how hard cops have it and while I don't entirely disagree, this was clearly excessive and necessary. I know Thames St. can be a mad house in the summer and I do respect the cops who are genuinely trying to protect and serve the community, but this is an embarrassment. No attempt at de-escalation, just excessive use of force on an old cobblestone road. One cop pushed someone into a street light like they were a blocking sled and the other knocked out a dude posing no threat. Maybe I'm just romanticizing the past, but stories like this getting national news makes me miss the days of Curt Schilling bankrupting the state.