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5 More Springfield Police Officers Face Charges Over 2015 Bar Fight

Joe Gratz
Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/joegratz

Five more Springfield, Massachusetts, police officers are facing criminal charges for allegedly beating four civilians at a city bar four years ago. 

The charges are the latest in an ongoing investigation by the state Attorney General's office and the FBI. Another officer, Jose Diaz, was charged last November in connection with the incident.

Officers Daniel Billingsly, Anthony Cicero, Christian Cicero, Igor Basovsky and Jameson Williams are accused of beating and kicking the victims after a confrontation at Nathan Bills bar and restaurant in April, 2015.

The AG's office said one or more of the officers, who were off-duty at the time, also used weapons during the attack that left one of the victims with permanent injuries.

All five defendants were released on personal recognizance on Wednesday after pleading not guilty to assault and conspiracy charges at their arraignment. 

In a statement, Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri called the conduct unacceptable, whether an officer is on- or off-duty.

“If these allegations are true, this type of conduct by a Springfield Police Officer on or off-duty is unacceptable and appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination will be taken,” Barbieri said. “The Springfield Police Department continues to stand by pending the completion of the criminal investigations to resume our internal investigation process.”

According to the Associated Press, the officers will be suspended without pay for five days, and then placed on paid administrative leave, per state law and labor agreements.

The five officers arraigned Wednesday are due back in court March 15. 

Diaz is scheduled to appear in court again on May 2 for a pre-trial hearing.

Heather Brandon contributed to this report.

Kari Njiiri is a senior reporter and longtime host and producer of "Jazz Safari," a musical journey through the jazz world and beyond, broadcast Saturday nights on NEPM Radio. He's also the local host of NPR’s "All Things Considered."
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