Gregg Bigda

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Service Record

Agency Springfield Massachusetts Police Department
Rank Officer
Dates of Service Hired in 1984.[1]
Salary $68,120[2]
Last Known Status Suspended[3]

Incident Reports

A reporter wrote that Bigda has been the subject of over two dozen civilian complaints and was disciplined for threatening a former girlfriend.[4]

2007 Arrest of Terrence Thomas

On May 18, 2007, Thomas was pulled over, removed from his car, and kicked and punched by police. Thomas was taken to the police station, where he was again kicked and punched. While an officer pinned Thomas to the wall and choked him, Thomas claims that Bigda "proceeded to help... with the abuse".[5]

Thomas was treated at a hospital for a concussion and a contusion on his face.[5]

Response Timeline

In 2008, Thomas was acquitted of the drug charges filed after the arrest.[5]

On May 13, 2010, Thomas filed a lawsuit against the city and several officers, including Bigda. Thomas asserted federal violations of his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and state civil rights claims.

Bigda was removed as a defendant in the case.[6]

2016 Arrest of E.P. and D.R.

On February 27, 2016, Officer Steven Vigneault left his unmarked police cruiser running while he went inside a restaurant to pickup a pizza. Four Latino teens stole the cruiser, which was spotted about two hours later by a Wilbraham Massachusetts Police Department officer. Palmer Massachusetts Police Department officers deployed "stop sticks" to flatten the vehicle's tires. One boy surrendered, and two were tracked by police dogs, while one escaped.[7]

Bigda kicked two of the teens in the face while they were on the ground in handcuffs.[8] Bigda also spat on a teen, and said, "Welcome to the white man's world." [9]

After the arrest, Bigda interrogated the juveniles separately, without their parents' presence, and without advising them of their Constitutional rights. Bigda threatened each of them several times, including the threat of physical violence and to frame one of them for crimes that he had not committed.[9] The interviews were captured on video.[10]

Response Timeline

On September 23, 2016, Bigda was suspended for 60 days without pay for his actions during the interrogation. The suspension came after the 90-day window for firing an officer had passed.[1]

On December 7, 2016, the suspension ended and Bigda returned to the department, where he was reassigned to the Records Division.[1]

In 2018, Bigda was indefinitely suspended without pay.[3]

On August 28, 2018, one of the teens involved ("F.E.") filed a lawsuit against Bigda and Vigneault, charging them with excessive force and abuse.[1]

On October 25, 2018, Bigda was charged with use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment, abusive interrogation in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and filing a false report.[3][11] Bigda faced up to 15 years behind bars if convicted.[12]

On June 10, 2020, another teen ("D.R.", also "R") filed a lawsuit against the city, Bigda, other officers, and police commissioner John Barbieri. Among other allegations, the teen claimed the use of excessive force by Bigda, in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.[13]

On December 13, 2021, Bigda was found not guilty of the criminal charges against him.[3][11]

On February 3, 2022, the lawsuit filed by D.R. was settled.[14]

In March 2022, the city settled F.E.'s lawsuit.[14]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Patrick Johnson, From a stolen cruiser to excessive force indictments: A timeline of Springfield police officers Gregg Bigda and Steven Vigneault, MassLive, 2018-10-31
  2. Gregg Bigda A Police Officer City Of Springfield, govSalaries
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Taylor Knight, Should Springfield Officer Bigda get his job back?, WWLP, 2021-12-14
  4. Stephanie Barry, Footage shows Springfield Detective Gregg Bigda's threats to teen suspects; legal experts say some tactics cross line, MassLive, 2016-11-06
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Police brutality suit against Springfield alleges police yanked down man's pants, beat him in middle of busy street, masslive.com, 2012-05-28
  6. Stephanie Barry, Springfield police brutality case goes to federal jury, masslive.com, 2012-06-01
  7. Stephanie Barry, Springfield police pizza run led to stolen undercover car, chase and allegations of excessive force, reports show, MassLive, 2016-07-13
  8. Stephanie Barry, 'Welcome to white town,' Springfield detective Gregg Bigda allegedly told Hispanic suspect, federal lawsuit says, MassLive, 2018-09-29
  9. 9.0 9.1 U.S. v Bigda and Vigeault Indictment, U.S. District Court, 2018-10-25
  10. Springfield detective Gregg Bigda interrogates teens in jail cell, MassLive, 2016-11-05
  11. 11.0 11.1 U.S. v Bigda Jury Verdict, U.S. District Court, 2021-12-13
  12. Stephanie Barry, Springfield police detective Gregg Bigda found not guilty of brutality, abusive interrogation, MassLive, 2021-12-13
  13. [D.R. v Bigda, et al], U.S. District Court, 2020-06-10
  14. 14.0 14.1 Karen Brown, City of Springfield settles a civil rights lawsuit involving police officer, still faces a 2nd one, WBUR, 2022-02-09