Arbitrator Reverses Suspension of New Bedford Police Officer

RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini recently secured an arbitrator’s reversal of a three day suspension that was imposed upon a New Bedford police officer based upon an allegation that the officer improperly failed to document the disposal of an arrestee’s property. By way of background, the officer had arrested an individual for various offenses, including the possession of a knife of illegal length. After the arrest, the officer transported the arrestee to the police station for booking. In New Bedford, once an individual has completed the booking procedure, that person is not held at the police station but instead is transported to the Ash Street Jail. Items of personal property belonging to the arrestee accompany the arrestee to the Ash Street

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Federal Judge Finds In Favor Of Members Of Worcester Police Department SWAT Team

The Massachusetts State Police secured a search warrant for an apartment in Worcester; that warrant was based upon information received from a confidential informant that dangerous individuals had been observed in the residence and that firearms also were present in the apartment.  The combination of dangerous individuals with access to firearms made the warrant a high risk endeavor, so the State Police contacted the Worcester Police Department in order to request that the Worcester Police Department SWAT team make entry into the residence so that the search warrant could be executed by the State Police. The plaintiffs lived in the apartment at the time of the warrant execution.  According to them, there were no weapons in the apartment and, while

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Arbitrator Issues Award Concluding That A Danvers Police Sergeant’s Ten Day Suspension Was Unjustified

RJA recently obtained a major victory for one of its clients, a sergeant with the Danvers Police Department. In 2017, the Danvers Police Department received a call that a firearm had been discharged into a residence while no one was home, with the bullet striking the exterior of the building and penetrating into the home. The Town later accused a sergeant involved in the police response that day of having violated a number of different rules of the Department for the way that he handled the response. The Town suspended the sergeant for ten days. RJA appealed the discipline to an arbitrator, who presided over a two day hearing. After lengthy closing briefs were submitted by counsel on both sides,

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Superior Court Judge Dismisses All Claims Against Two Waltham Police Officers In Civil Rights Lawsuit

In 2018, the plaintiff amended his complaint in an existing civil rights lawsuit to name two Waltham police officers as defendants. In the amended complaint, the plaintiff alleged that he was defamed by the police officers’ filing of false police reports about him, that one of the officers sought a criminal complaint against the plaintiff without prior notice or respecting his right to a show cause hearing on the charges, that the officers conducted negligent investigations concerning the plaintiff, that the officers prosecuted the plaintiff maliciously and that one of the officers gave false testimony during a probation hearing. A motion to dismiss was filed on behalf of the officers, explaining that the plaintiff’s claims were subject to dismissal prior

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Civil Rights Claims Against Fall River Police Officer Dismissed In Federal Court

In a case handled by RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini, a federal judge last week dismissed federal civil rights claims against a police officer from the Fall River Police Department.  The primary plaintiff’s allegations generally were that he was present in an apartment when members of the Fall River Vice Unit executed a search warrant and, during the warrant execution, he was kicked in the head repeatedly.  That plaintiff brought a federal civil rights lawsuit, alleging that he was the victim of excessive force, that officers failed to intervene in the use of excessive force and that officers also failed to provide him with medical attention.  The plaintiff, who is black, further claimed that the officers were involved in a conspiracy

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RJA Vindicates Deputy Police Chief

By Amaris Castillo | Lowell Sun DRACUT — There will be no disciplinary action for Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand and Sgt. Gregg Byam will be suspended for one day without pay over their administration of the Police Department’s evidence locker. The decisions end more than a year of controversy over the management of the evidence locker, which was the subject of a scathing September 2016 consultant’s report that found the Police Department failed to follow numerous evidence policy requirements that led to the mishandling of property and evidence. “That was recommended and, out of respect for the process, out of respect for the hearing officer, I will accept his recommendation,” Town Manager Jim Duggan said Thursday of the recommendations

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MA Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) Rejects Racism Claims Against Lawrence Police

The below article published in The Valley Patriot describes a recent RJA success in a MCAD lawsuit.  A Lawrence police officer brought a discrimination complaint against the City of Lawrence and eight police supervisors, alleging that he was the victim of years of mistreatment based upon his ethnicity.  Andrew Gambaccini of RJA represented the eight police supervisors and, in an eighty-five page response to the complaint of discrimination, explained why each and every one of the allegations made by the complainant were without any merit whatsoever.  In a decision issued in April, 2017, the MCAD agreed, dismissing the complaint in its entirety and bringing vindication for each of the police supervisors. By: Tom Duggan | The Valley Patriot  Defendants in

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Arbitrator Reverses Five Day Suspension of Springfield Police Officer

In a recent arbitration award, Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. (“RJA”) successfully represented a Springfield police officer in connection with a five day suspension. Prior to the five day suspension, the officer, who was not at that point a member of the Massachusetts Police Association Legal Defense Fund, had been suspended from his duties based upon various allegations, including that the officer had not been in proper uniform at the start of his shift.  Without the benefit of the Legal Defense Fund at that time, the officer served the suspension. Following that discipline, the officer joined the Legal Defense Fund. Later, in 2015, the officer was working a private road detail in the City.  At the time, the officer was

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Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior Under G.L. c. 272, §16 Requires “Shock” or “Alarm” to Another Person

In the case of Commonweatlh v. Maguire, 476 Mass. 156 (2017), the Supreme Judicial Court addressed the elements of the felony crime of Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior under G.L. c. 272, §16.  Based upon a failure to prove that the defendant’s conduct of exposing his penis to several females sitting on a bench at the Hynes Convention Center subway platform produced either “shock” or “alarm” for the females or the MBTA officer who made the arrest, the Court reversed the conviction.  The officer testified that he was disgusted at the defendant’s actions and concerned that the women were being victimized by those actions, but the Court ruled that evidence was insufficient to meet the subjective shock or

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Police Need ‘Particularized Evidence’ to Seize Electronic Devices Without a Search Warrant and Must Diligently Apply for a Warrant After the Seizure

In Commonwealth v. White, 475 Mass. 583, 59 N.E.3d 369 (2016), a Boston police detective investigated an armed robbery and shooting at a convenience store.  His investigation led him to the defendant as one of the suspects.  Visiting the defendant’s high school, the detective learned from one of the administrators that, under the school’s policy, she was holding the defendant’s cell phone.  At the time, the detective had no information that the phone was used in the planning, commission or cover up of the crime, but he was aware that crimes committed by multiple suspects frequently involved the use of cell phones by the suspects.  He thought there might be useful information on the phone; he obtained it from the

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