A dozen Springfield Police officers have been suspended without pay after Attorney General Maura Healey announced indictments. Mayor Domenic Sarno called it “a sad day for his city.”
A special statewide grand jury indicted the officers with either assault or trying to cover up of the assault.
“I think it’s alarming to hear about the police in a street fight when we expect they would be the ones to break up a street fight,” said one local resident.
Four years after a brawl began in Nathan Bill’s Bar and Restaurant in Springfield and then spread to a nearby parking lot, phone records and new video evidence led to a special state-wide grand Jury returning indictments against 14 current and former Springfield Police officers Wednesday.
Half were charged with assault and battery; the others with perjury, misleading police, and filing a false police report. The 12 active officers were suspended without pay, but further punishment will be determined later.
“Our law department, I’ll get together with them,” said acting Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. “Will they want me to move forward disciplinary in-house before criminal proceedings are done? We’ll see what that looks like and I’ll proceed as I’m recommended.”
One of the former officers is now a state trooper. State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said the trooper has been relieved of duty, and further action is possible following an internal hearing on Friday.
Some residents were alarmed by the indictments against the officers.
“If the police can’t make good judgment calls at bars off duty, that does concern me a bit for my own personal safety, because I know that they back each other up,” said Jason Hosey of Springfield. “I’m Marine Corp., so I understand the brotherhood, but I know we also rely on them for our safety.”
The owner and the manager of Nathan Bill’s were also charged in the same indictment.