SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – For the first time, the Springfield Police Commissioner has responded to allegations of misconduct involving his officers.
The first incident took place in April of 2015, when a group of off-duty police officers allegedly attacked four unarmed black men in a parking lot on Island Pond Road in Springfield.
The 22News I-Team asked Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri whether that incident was swept under the rug. “We initiated a prompt investigation, and after the investigation was complete, we sent it over to the DA’s office. It was completed rather promptly,” he said.
None of those officers involved in that incident have lost their jobs, and neither has Detective Gregg Bigda, who is accused of threatening juveniles back in February.
Bigda was given with a 60-day suspension, a punishment that many people, including a city councilor have argued, isn’t enough.
The Commissioner said, he followed procedures, which includes having the human resources attorney and law department attorney review the case. Barbieri also said he is the one who initiated an investigation to begin with. “I certainly understand the city councilor’s (Justin Hearst’s) concern. What I will tell you is that difficult procedural issues in regards to being a civil service chief. I always do what’s fair and proper and sustainable,” he said.
The incident involving Detective Bigda is now being investigated by the Attorney General’s office, while the District Attorney’s Office is still investigating the incident involving the off-duty police officers.