SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- City leaders in Springfield are pushing for more accountability with police after five officers were charged in connection with an incident that took place in 2015.
On Wednesday, five Springfield police officers plead not guilty to multiple charges in court, joining a sixth who was charged last November for a fight that occurred outside Nathan Bills Bar in April of 2015.
For one city councilor, he believes the process took way too long and he’s wants the system to improve.
"It's always disappointing to see this coming out of the city of Springfield. It's disappointing when you see those bad apples disobeying the law," said Springfield City Councilor Orlando Ramos.
All five officers were arraigned on various assault and battery charges in Springfield District Court.
"It's obviously a problem if its taken four years to figure out what happened in this incident," Ramos noted.
According to Mayor Domenic Sarno, the city was asked to step aside by the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office to investigate this incident.
"We were ready to move on this, and Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office said, hey stand down, so we did. We abides by their request, but we we're ready to go," said Sarno.
The city of Springfield has a police community hearing board where there are members that oversee public officials, but Ramos said it's not enough.
This incident is one of the reasons why the council is now pushing for a police commission
"The police community hearing board is completely different than the police commission. The community hearing board does not have the authority to hire, fire, or discipline officers. The police commission would have that authority," Ramos explained.
The commission was approved by the council, and are now waiting for the mayor to appoint members.