VIDEO: 3 Mass. Officers Fired for Use of Force
The officers fought, & succeeded, in having video of the incident releasedBy Calibre Press | Jan 17, 2017
Three Agawam, Mass., police officers were fired last year by the city’s mayor after an excessive force complaint was filed. The incident involved an intoxicated and combative prisoner who resisted booking procedures and actively assaulted the officers.
City officials reviewed video footage of the incident and the mayor disagreed with the police officers’ actions and fired them. This week however, the Hampden County District Attorney, announced he would not prosecute the officers criminally.
The officers are now appealing their termination through civil service.
Our take on the video, while unpleasant to watch, does show a resistant and combative subject. There is a fine line and balance to how much and what type of force is “reasonable.” The district attorney obviously believed the force used was appropriate.
Those who have never actually tried to control an intoxicated, determined, and assaultive subject have no idea how hard it is. The number of officers isn’t excessive, but in fact was reasonable in order to control him. Strikes were used because hands-on controls weren’t working. The officers were subject to bites, punches, kicks, and clawing. Bottom line: There is no magic grip or pinch that will calm the irrational or incapacitate without pain or injury.
Was the mayor looking at the incident from a perspective of expertise or was it from a political paradigm?
The question is alone is worth the conversation.
The video dates back to June of 2016. The suspect you see was allegedly drunk and arrested after a struggle at Six Flags, and then brought to the Agawam, Mass., Police Station.
The officers you see in the video, Sgt. Anthony Grasso, Officer Edward Connor and Officer John Moccio were fired by Mayor Richard Cohen for the alleged use of force.
The Hampden County District Attorney announced this week that his office would not prosecute these officers. They are also appealing their firing through civil service. John Connor, the attorney for the three officers, claims their behavior was justified.
Their attorney stated, “Under the policies and procedures, the use of the force was authorized. Now they may disagree with that, but that doesn’t mean that these officer didn’t act in accordance with the policies and their training and that is what I think they are fearful of.”
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