Springfield, Mass., City Council President Critical Of DA's Handling Of Police Case
The City Council president in Springfield, Massachusetts, is taking the Hampden County district attorney to task for his handling of an assault case involving 14 current and former Springfield police officers.
The officers are charged with either assaulting four victims during an off-duty brawl outside a Springfield bar in 2015, or trying to cover it up.
Hampden County DA Anthony Gulluni passed on prosecuting the case, instead referring it to state and federal prosecutors.
City Council President Justin Hurst says the DA was derelict in his duties.
"It sends the wrong message, and it essentially tells me that the district attorney — for whatever reason — is refusing to do his job," Hurst said. "That's not what we need here in Springfield, and that's not what we need throughout the county."
A spokesman for Gulluni, James Leydon, said the DA referred the case to agencies who had resources to investigate a matter of this kind.
"In fact, subsequently discovered evidence with which the Hampden district attorney's office was not furnished, and now forms the basis of the indictments issued yesterday," Leydon said.
Ultimately, it was the state attorney general's office that convened a grand jury and sought the indictments.
The 12 current Springfield officers in the case are on unpaid leave.
The owner and bar manager of Nathan Bill's Bar and Restaurant — where a confrontation took place between the off-duty officers and the victims prior to the assault — are also facing charges.