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Springfield's police commission could soon hear cases on Nathan Bill's bar brawl

Bishop Talbert Swan, president of the NAACP chapter in Springfield, Massachusetts, stands in front of Nathan Bill's pub two years after a police brutality protest was held in front of the bar.
Nirvani Williams
Bishop Talbert Swan, president of the NAACP chapter in Springfield, Massachusetts, stands in front of Nathan Bill's restaurant earlier this year. In 2015, a brawl took place in front of the bar between four Black men and off-duty police.

Some of the Springfield, Massachusetts, police officers involved in a brawl outside a city bar in 2015 could face disciplinary hearings soon. That's according to City Solicitor John Payne.

Payne told the Springfield Police Commission this week that not all of the charges are serious.

"But they are still pending and have to be resolved. Some of those involve individuals who had criminal cases and the criminal cases have been resolved," Payne said. "Others are individuals who did not have any criminal charges but there were some departmental charges."

Springfield paid more than $800,000 to four Black men to settle allegations off-duty police beat them outside Nathan Bill's bar. Two officers have been convicted of criminal charges in the case but did not receive jail time.

During the commission's latest meeting last week, police superintendent Cheryl Clapprood pledged her support for the board, which assumed disciplinary responsibilities from her.

She told the board she needs their help to weed out what she called "bad cops".

"I want you to have the best investigation going forward and I want you to have all the video or footage you can possibly get because that's the truth and that's what we're all after," Clapprood said. "You know, if I got a bad cop, fine. I want them separated from service."

The police commission was brought back to oversee the department by the city council, after a legal battle between with Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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