VIDEO: Sarno denies cover-up in police beating case

Mayor says he stands by commissioner and the department

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says that there never was any cover-up of the alleged attack on four men outside a bar by a group of off-duty police officers.

Sarno spoke Tuesday morning to 22News I-Team reporter Tamara Sacharczyk, saying that the investigation into the April 2015 incident is still going on, and he stands by Police Commissioner John Barbieri.

The mayor repeatedly said that while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, he “will not stand by” and have people believe that this is a systemic problem with the Springfield Police Department.

Off-duty Springfield cops accused of attacking four unarmed black men

Paul Cumby, Jackie Ligon, Jozelle Ligon, and Michael Cintron allege that a group of eight to 10 off-duty officers jumped them in the parking lot of Nathan Bill’s Bar and Restaurant on Island Pond Road. An attorney representing three out of the four plaintiffs told 22News that the dispute began after one of his clients whistled at a bartender, who may have been the girlfriend of one of the off-duty officers.

Play the video to hear Mayor Sarno’s response to the case.