City of Chicopee, eight police officers subjects of civil rights - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

City of Chicopee, eight police officers subjects of civil rights lawsuit

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The city of Chicopee and eight former and current police officers are facing a federal lawsuit for an incident that occurred at the Chicopee Police Department in 2013.

The lawsuit was filed by Maylene Maldonado in U.S. District Court in Springfield claiming police brutality.

Maldonado alleges Chicopee police Sgt. Daniel Major unjustifiably choked and physically beat her during a booking.

The incident occurred on Feb. 17, 2013 after officers were called to the Econo Lodge at 357 Burnett Rd. to check on a man who was incoherent and carrying a large knife.

Upon arrival, officers saw Maldonado running toward the nearby Pride truck stop, and she admitted she had been drinking and smoking PCP.

At some point, Maldonado slapped one of the officers across his face and she was arrested.

According to court documents, Maldonado's face was smashed against an elevator wall by two of the officers.

While at the booking desk, she continued to complain about pain from her lip piercing, and Major applied a chokehold to her neck and he and other officers brought her to the ground.

Maldonado said she was not offered treatment for her apparent injuries, intoxication or for being under the influence of PCP at any time.

Former Police Chief Thomas Charette, who was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, concurred with departmental findings that Major did not violate any policies or procedures with his actions, though Major has since been charged with assault and battery.

Maldonado said she suffered severe physical injuries and mental anguish as a result of the incident.

Her complaint includes 16 total counts.

Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos said he has consulted with Assistant City Solicitor Thomas Rooke, who will be representing the city in the lawsuit, and that he would not be in a position to comment further on pending litigation.

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