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T cop who ground homeless man's face into pavement at Forest Hills gets no jail time after admitting what he did

A Transit Police officer who dragged a man off a bus, used his knee on the man's back to hold him to the ground for 20 seconds, then pushed his head into the pavement had his case continued without a finding for 18 months, which means the charges will go away if he stays out of trouble for that time, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

The ruling, by Judge Michael Doolin, came after now former Ofr. Nicholas Morrissey pleaded guilty to violating his victim's civil right, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and filing a false police report for an incident on April 28, 2020 that started when a 63-year-old homeless man refused to get off a bus whose driver had finished for the day.

As part of the sentence, Morrissey is barred from trying to get a job in law enforcement while his case is is still active, the DA's office says.

Had the case proceeded to trial, [Assistant DA Kevin] Bergin would have presented evidence and testimony to prove that Transit Police were called to Forest Hills MBTA station for a report of an intoxicated homeless man who refused to depart from a bus that had completed its route on April 28, 2021 [sic]. Morrissey was the first officer to arrive at the location. He dragged the victim from the bus on the Forest Hills busway. Morrissey forcibly held the man face-down on the ground with a knee on his back for 20 seconds, pushed his head into the pavement and later dragged him out of the bus lane. The victim suffered abrasions to his face that required a response from Boston EMS.

A second officer arrived at the scene after these events transpired. That officer, who was familiar with the victim through previous interactions, noted that the victim was bleeding from the forehead and appeared more agitated than any of their prior interactions. Unaware of the assault by his colleague, the second officer began speaking with the victim in an effort to de-escalate the situation until an ambulance arrived.

A TPD superintendent had listened to the radio transmissions on the call in real-time as the events occurred and became concerned by the need for medical assistance. He later checked for a use-of-force report, which should have been filed in accordance with the department’s policy, and found none.

Morrissey filed a report on the incident stating that the victim lost his balance while attempting to spit at him. Morrissey said he grabbed the man by the shoulders and redirected him before the man fell through the bus door and hit his forehead on the pavement. The allegations contained in the report were disproven by the evidence, which included security video and witness statements.

During a court conference yesterday, Bergin argued that even with the guilty plea, Morrissey should be sentenced to one year in jail. Morrissey's attorneys, however, argued with a continuation finding. According to the DA's office, Doolin "cited Morrisey’s resignation from TPD as a form of taking responsibility for his actions, as well as his military service in reaching the sentencing decision."

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Comments

Any admission of guilt or conviction for violence on the job should get someone barred from law enforcement for life, nationwide. But if it can be proven that the cop tried to cover it up, as is the case here, it should be mandatory prison, in gen pop.

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Voting closed 97

The MBTA should release the video of the incident. They have no problem releasing videos and photos of poor black men accused of crimes.

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Voting closed 98

The sad thing is the guy will probably get rehired somewhere else, just like Ayla Gavins.

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Voting closed 31

when they're trying to find a suspect. Releasing the video at this time would serve no useful purpose other than to stir division.

Instead of focusing on releasing a video, how about we petition our lawmakers to eliminate the "continued without a finding" provision in our justice system. But I guess that would go against the "punishment is bad" mantra that society seems to be increasingly wrapped up in.

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Voting closed 13

so, that gives anyone a free pass to assault people?

plus, you'd think that as a law enforcement officer and former serviceman, he'd be held to a higher standard that would definitely warrant actual punishment including restitution and reparative actions to the man he assaulted.

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Voting closed 18

… did their jobs. I’m thankful for that.

Otherwise it’s really disturbing to read what happened to the victim. I have to wonder, also, if Morrissey’s military background is connected to his behavior in this attack.

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Voting closed 36

It's real cool how we have chosen as a society to be occupied by a violent and militarized police force armed with guns, god complexes, and a complete lack of consequences for their actions. Sure makes me feel safe.

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Voting closed 64

Let the Libertarianism flow through you.

Can we as an electorate please remember things like this when we show up for elections?

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Voting closed 24

Eww no.

I actually read a book recently about a town in New Hampshire that a bunch of libertarians tried to turn into a "free town." They took over the local government and dismantled as much of it as they could. Then a large number of buildings burned down and the town was overrun by bears. Libertarianism is a political ideology that collapses under the slightest bit of scrutiny.

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Voting closed 52

Read the second - Will is on to something there.

Let the bears join your libertarian frolic othewise. And I wouldn't say that it collapses under scrutiny but at the slightest whiff of reality. Funny how all of the libertarian utopian experiments have collapsed because human society requires mutual aid to function.

I love asking isolationists how they plan to handle obstetric emergencies - giant heads require assistance to emerge from pelvi narrowed by upright bipedal stature.

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Voting closed 35

How would you go about being impregnated?

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Voting closed 26

...that your bog-standard Heinlein wannabee homesteader male is capable of assisting at a birth? And by "assisting" I mean doing something useful, not standing around mansplaining the process of giving birth.

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Voting closed 25

And it tested some of my views, I'll admit to that.

The protagonists, at times, conflated anarchy with liberty. Tough circle to square, but we need a better try than Democrat abuse.

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Voting closed 22

anarchy and libertarianism aren't the same.

anarchists generally have morals and a sense of community.

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Voting closed 8

Well I'm not a Democrat, so at least we're somewhat aligned there.

Socialism or barbarism: that's the choice we have. Unfortunately I'm afraid things are trending toward the latter.

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Voting closed 36

My mind is blow with your comment

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Voting closed 21

Huh?

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Voting closed 32

So then we just have private police forces hired by the wealthy who don't even have token oversight by the government instead? Trumped up security guards who can do what they want because the free market is allowing it? Who will continue to buy military grade equipment from contractors and sketchy companies, but don't have to report it to anyone and don't have to make any record of its use? And if you're poor and can't afford to buy into the private security team, then what? Or you do, but get into an altercation with somebody much more wealthy who has a Premium Membership or whatever, who's side is the "cop' going to take?

Libertarianism at its core has some decent ideas and probably works well to some extent in small communities with shared values and similar incomes. Trying to apply it on a large scale to our current society which is so stratified just allows the rich and powerful even more power to dictate things for everyone else. Having the free market decide things doesn't work when the majority of the market is captured by an incredibly small percent of the population. Fix wealth disparity and then we can talk.

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Voting closed 15

Does anyone know which bus the victim was on?

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Voting closed 16