Providence Police officer pleads not guilty to assault

By: Chloe Leshner

cleshner@abc6.com

@ChloeLeshner

PROVIDENCE (WLNE) — A Providence Police officer is on the wrong side of the law, accused of beating up his girlfriend. Today he faced a judge.

Officer John "Joe" Black, who works as a Detective in the Providence Police Department plead not guilty in court Monday, denying that he did anything against the law.

Black is accused of assaulting his girlfriend at the end of April. Police say she tried to keep him out of her Atwells Avenue apartment. Black was trying to get inside to retrieve his gun and badge.

Much of the police report is redacted but it does say the woman fought back. Officer Black has swollen black eyes in his mug shot.

Black was silent leaving court after being let out on personal recognizance. His attorney saying in a statement Black "adamantly denies any criminal conduct."

From here on out the City of Providence and the state will be stepping aside and bringing in a special prosecutor.

"We work with police officers regularly on criminal matters and also we work with them civilly so just ethically we have to opt out," says Stephen Ryan, the Senior Assistant City Solicitor. 

It’s a move that will cost the City money.

"Even the appearance of some kind of favoritism, you have to dispel that even at its essence we have to be out of the case," says Ryan.

A Providence Police spokesperson says they have no comment at this time. Black has been on paid leave since his arrest. He’ll be back in court in two weeks.