POLICE BRUTALITY : CRIME AND CRIMINALS: ASSAULT : LAW: CASE: DECISIONS : UNITED STATES: STATES: MASSACHUSETTS: Settlement Creates Questions for Councilors


David P. Dillard
 

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POLICE BRUTALITY :

CRIME AND CRIMINALS: ASSAULT :

LAW: CASE: DECISIONS :

UNITED STATES: STATES: MASSACHUSETTS:

Settlement Creates Questions for Councilors

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Settlement Creates Questions for Councilors

Aug. 7, 2015

G. Michael Dobbs

The Reminder

https://www.thereminder.com/Localnews/chicopee/ chicopeepolicebrutalitysettlemen/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/nfp8eo4

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CHICOPEE While the city of Chicopee may have reached a settlement in the alleged police brutality case involving Maylene Maldonado, the City Council voted to delay approving the settlement until they can have their questions answered by the city attorney assigned to the issue.

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The council had to approve the allocation of $135,000 the settlement amount at its Aug. 4 meeting, but a slender majority of the councilors said they were uncomfortable about approving the amount until they had their questions answered.

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snip

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The lawsuit named the city of Chicopee, Sgt. Daniel Major, Officer Ryan Moran, Officer John Birks, Sgt. Jeffrey Godere, Officer Travis Odiorne, Officer Andre Remillard, Capt. Mark Gilbert and former Police Chief Thomas Charette.

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The lawsuit charged that on Feb. 17, 2013, Maldonado was unjustifiably choked and beaten by Chicopee Police Sergeant Daniel Major while Birks, Godere, Moran and Remillard watched and did not intervene. Gilbert was the commanding officer so the midnight to 8 a.m. shift.

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The video of the incident gained national attention.

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Mayor Richard Kos announced the settlement through a press release on July 30. Kos stated, An important factor in settling now is the number of defendants and the cost for legal representation to the city as this matter continues. It was determined to be in the citys best interest to resolve this claim at this time.

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Joel McAuliffe, Kos communications and special projects manager, said the mayor would not make any other statements about the settlement. He noted that none of the officers in question received any disciplinary action for the incident that happened during the previous administration.

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All of the officers except Major and Charette are still with the department.

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snip

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Councilor Adam Lamontagne said, Sure we can send a check, but I think it sends a wrong message its a slippery slope if we approve this tonight.

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Zygarowksi, citing his own experience as a police officer, insisted, that even though his colleagues questions may be answered to their satisfaction, Were still going to have to pay that amount of money.

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The alternative is taking the case to court and Councilor William Zaskey noted the fees for the attorneys needed might well exceed the $1 million that Maldonado was originally seeking.

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Former Mayor Michael Bissonnette, under whose administration the incident happened, also opposed the settlement. Writing on his Facebook page, he said, We often took cases to trial because we had an experienced litigator on staff and we prevailed saving the taxpayers millions in settlements and legal fees.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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