UPDATE: Video of the incident has just been released and is posted above.
Three Massachusetts police officers who were terminated due to an alleged misuse-of-force incident but absolved by their local District Attorney are now demanding the local government release the video footage of the incident that led to their termination.
Taking place in Agawam, the three ex-officers -Sergeant Anthony Grasso and Officers John P. Moccio and Edward B. Connor- and Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni’s office notified city officials that there would be no criminal charges filed against the lawmen in connection to a call they responded to at a local Six Flags in June of last year.
During the incident, 27-year-old David P. Desjardins was taken into custody after fighting police at the park, later getting into a fight with the three officers (who have since been dubbed the “APD-3”) at the police station.
Following the incident, the officers were terminated by Mayor Richard Cohen for what he considered excessive-force, prompting outrage in the local community.
The three officers, who have a collective 70 years of experience, have since received various means of support from friends and citizenry alike.
On Wednesday night, APD-3 attorney John Connor said that since there is no criminal case against the men (who are currently fighting to get their jobs back), the video footage of the alleged “excessive force” should be released to the public.
“Having received word that the district attorney found no wrongdoing on the part of these Agawam officers, there is no reason to withhold the video from release,” said Connor.
Suspect Desjardins was reportedly “very intoxicated and extremely violent,” Connor noted, citing that it took multiple officers to subdue him both at the park and the station.
“This violent behavior reignited at the station during the booking process, requiring officers to use reasonable force to bring the arrestee under control,” Connor continued, pointing out that the only injury from the incident was sustained by a police officer.
At one point, the officers were forced to use a baton.
“Under the department’s ‘use of force policy,’ the use of a baton was both authorized and appropriate under these circumstances.” Connor said. “I think what the public needs to know is that Sgt. Grasso, who had recently undergone cervical fusion surgery, was placed in a headlock by Mr. Desjardins, and that only after this occurred was he forcibly subdued.”
According to MassLive, hearings for the officers were held earlier in the week, with a final hearing scheduled for the last day of January.