© 2022 New England Public Media

FCC public inspection files:
WGBYWFCRWNNZWNNUWNNZ-FMWNNI

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@nepm.org or call 413-781-2801.
NEPM Header Banner
PBS. NPR. Local Perspective.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Police Brutality Charges Dismissed Against Springfield Officer

Former Springfield police detective Steven Vigneault
Dave Roback
/
The Republican / masslive.com/photos
Former Springfield police detective Steven Vigneault

Federal charges have been dropped against Steven Vigneault, a Springfield, Massachusetts, police officer accused of kicking a juvenile during a 2016 arrest.

Vigneault was indicted after another officer testified that Vigneault admitted to kicking in the face a teenager suspected of stealing his cruiser.

But according to new court documents, the juvenile recently testified it was in fact another officer — Gregg Bigda — who kicked him. So the government is dropping its case against Vigneault.

"My client feels very vindicated," said Vigneault's lawyer, Shawn Allyn. "But one of the questions we have is: How does he regain his reputation back? Does he go to the government to do that? Does he go to the city of Springfield to do that? My client was just presumed guilty from the get-go."

Vigneault quit the police department in 2016 — under pressure, he claims.

Allyn said Vigneault wants his job back as well as lost wages, as he's demanding in a pending civil lawsuit.

Vigneault is studying psychology at a local college, according to Allyn.

Springfield's city solicitor Ed Pikula said he plans to read the dismissal before deciding how to proceed.

A lawyer for Gregg Bigda, who's already facing criminal charges of his own, could not be reached.

Karen is a radio and print journalist who focuses on health care, mental health, children’s issues, and other topics about the human condition. She has been a full-time radio reporter for NEPM since 1998. Her features and documentaries have won a number of national awards, including the National Edward R. Murrow Award, Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI) Award, Third Coast Audio Festival Award, and the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize.