The Latest: Cops plead not guilty to excessive force charges

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Latest on the arrests of two Massachusetts police officers accused of unreasonable force in the arrests of two Latino teams (all times local):

4:51 p.m.

One current and one former Springfield police officer have pleaded not guilty to federal charges that they used excessive force while arresting two Latino teenagers.

Gregg Bigda and Steven Vigneault appeared in U.S. District Court on Wednesday following their arrests earlier in the day.

According to a federal indictment, Bigda kicked one of the boys in the head, spat on him and said: Welcome to the white man’s world.”

Bigda is also charged with threatening one of the teens during an interrogation and filing a false police report.

Vigneault is charged with using unreasonable force against the second teen during the February 2016 incident following a pursuit. Vigneault has retired from the force. reports that the two men were released without bail following their court appearances.


11:52 a.m.

A federal indictment alleges two Massachusetts police officers used excessive force during the arrest of two Latino teenagers in 2016.

Federal prosecutors say Gregg Bigda and Steven Vigneault were arrested Wednesday and are expected to appear later in the day in federal court in Springfield.

According to the indictment, Bigda spat on one teen and said: “Welcome to the white man’s world.” Bigda is also accused of threatening the youths during a subsequent interrogation and falsifying a police report.

Vigneault is charged with using unreasonable force against the second teen.

Prosecutors say both boys were injured in the confrontation, which occurred in Palmer following a pursuit that began in Springfield.

Vigneault retired in 2016. Bigda remains an officer after serving a 60-day suspension. Messages left with attorneys for the men were not returned.

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