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Springfield City Councilor Concerned About Police Culture After Settlement

Paul Cumby said he was beaten by off-duty Springfield Police officers outside a bar in 2015.
Dan Glaun
MassLive / MassLive.com
Paul Cumby, who says he was beaten by off-duty Springfield Police officers outside a bar in 2015.

After the city of Springfield agreed to pay four men who allege they were beaten by off-duty police officers, a city councilor said the incident indicates larger problems within the department.

The men said they were beaten by the police officers outside a Springfield bar in 2015. Lawsuits accused officers who responded to the scene of trying to cover it up.

The city will settle a lawsuit filed by Paul Cumby for $750,000. Jackie Ligon, Jozelle Ligon and Michael Cintron will share a settlement of $135,000.

City Councilor Justin Hurst, who voted in favor of the settlement, said he believes the problem goes beyond the one incident.

"There's a culture that exists where I think you have a few officers who think they're above the law and won't be held accountable, and I think as long as that culture is prevalent in the city of Springfield, then we have a problem," Hurst said.

In a statement, Mayor Dominic Sarno said the city will move forward with disciplinary action against the officers involved in the incident outside the bar.

According to MassLive, the state attorney general's office has convened a grand jury to consider indicting the officers.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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