A Massachusetts cop is facing federal charges for allegedly beating up a Latino teen under arrest — as he spit on him and snarled, “Welcome to the white man’s world,” according to a new indictment.
Suspended Springfield officer Gregg Bigda was busted Wednesday morning on excessive force charges related to the February 2016 arrest of a group of teens, who were nabbed for swiping an undercover police vehicle, MassLive.com reported.
Bigda flew into a rage that evening and part of his interrogation of some of the teens was captured on video.
In the 30-minute recording, which was posted to YouTube, Bidga threatens to beat up and kill one of the boys and plant drugs on him.
“I’m not hampered by the f–king truth ’cause I don’t give a f–k! People like you belong in jail. I’ll charge you with whatever. I’ll stick a f–king kilo of coke in your pocket and put you away for 15 years,” he shouts.
Bidga also threatened to “beat the f–k out of” another teen during questioning, according to the indictment filed in Massachusetts federal court.
He allegedly told a 14-year-old boy, who is Latino, “Welcome to the white man’s world” while kicking him in the head and spitting on him during his arrest, court papers say.
Also charged is Steven Vigneault, whose SUV the teens allegedly stole as he popped inside a Springfield pizza shop.
A lawsuit filed by one of the teens accuses Bidga of being drunk on rum that night, saying Vigneault picked up food from the pizzeria in hopes of sobering him up, according to MassLive.com.
Vigneault, a narcotics detective who resigned from the department in 2016, and Bigda were indicted on excessive force charges. Vigneault was charged for his alleged involvement in the beatdown, which included the teens being kicked in the face while handcuffed and bitten by police dogs.
Bigda faces additional charges of abusive interrogation and filing two reports that falsely claimed he never witnessed any police-involved beating during the arrests and denied that he spit on anyone or made the “white man’s world” comment.
The disturbing video of the interrogations and excessive force allegations sparked a Department of Justice investigation into the Springfield Police Department, the first police department in Massachusetts to be probed by the DOJ, the Boston Globe reported.
Bigda and Vigneault pleaded not guilty to charges in court Wednesday. Both men were released on bail and face up to 15 years in prison.
Vigneault’s lawyer Daniel Kelly was confident the former detective would be cleared of the charges.
“There is a tendency to rush to judgment in cases like these. We would ask that the public not rush to judgment,” Kelly said outside the courthouse, MassLive.com reported.
In the past, Bidga has also been accused of assaulting a pregnant woman, declaring “I hate Puerto Ricans” and macing puppies to death, according to the news site.
He was initially suspended for 60 days when the video emerged two years ago but suspended indefinitely without pay following his arrest Wednesday.
Source: Read Full Article