A People's History of the Worcester Police Department

2021

5/20
@MassLiveNews and other news outlets publish partial audio recordings to the April 20th 911 call by Phet Gouvonvong who was later shot and killed by Sgt. Paul Cyr on Grafton St. 30 days later, the Worcester DA is still investigating.

5/15
Sgt. Richard Cipro, head of the Worcester police officials union and Officer Daniel Gilbert, head of the officers union tell @BPetrishenTG they believe a civilian review board would be divisive and unfair to police.

5/13
18 community and religious based groups write to City Manager and other elected leaders reaffirming their past calls for the City of Worcester to implement a Civilian Review Board with full subpoena power.

5/10
Chief Sargent & Lt Ken Davenport refuse to tell Human Rights Comm. name of Officer who has 25 complaints and was found to have engaged in criminal activity. Tell Commission to file a public records request, he’s “closely monitored”.

5/8
Request for criminal complaint filed against two officers accused of illegal arrest and theft of cell phone.

4/30
Telegram reports that @RepMcGovern expects the City of Worcester to use Federal COVID relief funds to pay for body cams in 2021.

4/23
AnnMarie Gonzalez, mother of Phet Gouvonvong, describes being repeatedly put on hold by 911 dispatchers unable to speak with her son. “I was there on the line for the whole time. I could have prevented this."

4/22
7 Deadly Police Shootings In Worcester County Since 2015

Family of Phet Gouvonvong pushing for City and DA to release the name of the officer who shot and killed family member.

4/19
T&G’s @BPetrishenTG reports on ongoing lack of transparency. “DA withholds details of integrity unit created after Worcester police misconduct complaint”

4/17
Worcester Police tell @WorcDSA members they do not have a permit and therefore can’t play instruments at St. Vincent’s Hospital Nurses Strike

4/14
A closer look at Worcester’s 2020 payroll: 90 of 100 top earners are police officers

4/7
Worcester Chief Steven Sargent attended a Board of Health hearing Monday where member David Fort said Sargent had lied about racism in the department.

4/6
Retired Worcester Police Officer, “‘This is systemic’: City leaders, former officer highlight racism within Worcester Police Department while union president denies its existence

4/5
Over 100 people attended Worcester Board of Health hearing. Board member David Fort says Chief Steven Sargent lying about racism in the department.

3/9
15 community & religious groups release public statement opposing Worcester’s plan to implement ShotSpotter Connect predictive policing in Worcester citing concerns of racial biases.

3/1
Worcester Patch reporter @Neal_McNamara exposes emails showing WPD worked to purchase ShotSpotter Connect predictive policing tech outside public bidding process, allowing City Manager to sign contract weeks before plans became public.

2/29
After a 6 month silence to calls for police reform, Councilor @KateToomey quickly convenes a Public Safety Committee meeting to try to rush proposed ShotSpotter Connect predictive policing tech forward.

2/24
Public comment overwhelmingly supports city manager’s recommended police reforms.

2/17
Under pressure, Worcester City Manager announces investigation of WPD Sick-out by 15 Police Officers angry at 5 day suspension of Officer Ryan Joyal for striking mental health patient on stretcher in July incident in Main South.

2/7
@DefundWPD releases public call for all officers involved in sick-out protesting the suspension of Officer Ryan Joyal to be named and suspended.

2/5
MassLive’s @ScottCroteauMLreveals that Officer Ryan Joyal was suspended for 5 days as a result of incident of him striking patient on stretcher more than 6 months previously.

2/1
Over thirty Worcester residents testify in opposition to proposed ShotSpotter predictive policing software, and @TweetWorcester’s plan to take funding from City’s contingency budget.

1/24
@bill_shaner continues his work documenting community opposition to ShotSpotter Connect and @KateToomey’s efforts to limit and block public debate of predictive policing.

1/19
Defund WPD urges City Council to use ‘extreme caution’ as Worcester seeks to expand ShotSpotter technology to include AI to create ‘crime forecasts.’

1/16
Two Black former Worcester police officers win another legal battle in decades-old discrimination case that could cost city millions.

1/15
The father of a mentally ill Leominster man killed during a 2018 well-being check filed a federal lawsuit alleging that under-trained officers botched the call and that @WorcesterDA Joe Early Jr. conducted a shoddy investigation.

2020

9/30
The Mass. Dump begins publishing publicly available data on the Worcester Police Dept.

9/26
@FiveFreedoms interviews @BPetrishenTG - Internal Affairs Reports and Accountability Within the Worcester Police Department

9/15
For the 3rd time in as many weeks, while speaking before the Human Rights Commission, Chief Sargent insists the police department is free of institutionnal racism

9/5
Police Officer Michael Escobar remains on pad administrative leave 8 months as City tries to terminate him after he was arrested for getting two vehicles stuck on railroad tracks while drunk.

9/1
Worcester Police Officer Michael Escobar, accused of driving drunk on railroad tracks, still on police force months after police chief recommended his firing

The Worcester Historical Museum presented a forum on being a Black police officer in Worcester for an institution that is seen as racist and dangerous to the Black community.WSU’s @ProfessorHaller helps lead the discussion.

8/30
Community rally at City Hall remembering Jacob Blake and challenging police brutality in our City

8/26
Worcester police officer Shawn Tivnan, named in lawsuit over Beer Garden arrest, no longer in K-9 unit

8/25
Worcester’s Black History Project & the Historical Museum hosted a panel discussion on the 1993 murder of Cristino Hernandez, who was killed in a way very similar to George Floyd.

8/17
The Worcester PD breaks up the Ron Paul “Liberty Love Fest” over the illegal sale of alcohol.

8/15
Worcester woman videotapes Police Officer of abusing K-9; Police declare it a “training technique” refuse to release information

8/4
Video of Worcester Beer Garden arrest at odds with officer’s account.

7/26
Bill Shaner: It’s been an exceptionally racist week for Worcester . . . Worcester’s really been showing its true colors of late

7/22
Passerby videotapes Worcester police officer hitting mental health patiet on stretcher in Main South.

7/21
Worcester’s @niccommawoo History of the police body cam debate going back to 2014

Nicole published her summary of Worcester’s long drawn out “discussion” about implementing police body cams.

7/20
Worcester body cam proposal includes the hiring of 7 additional officers, and purchase of Tasers

7/15
BLACK LIVES MATTER Mural painted on Major Taylor Boulevard in Worcester.

7/14
Worcester Police Withhold Many Use-Of-Force Body Camera Videos releasing only 3 of 23 use-of-force encounters in 2019.

7/7
Boston City Councilor proposes use of Service Aides, similar to civilian model Worcester utilized in the 1970’s

7/1
Report from @ClarkU: ‘Credible’ Students Mistreated In Protest Arrests. Four Clark students were arrested June 1 following riot police melee related to Black Lives Matter protests

Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) claim the Worcester PD has failed to properly investigate an alleged hate crime and calls on Mayor an Police Chief to condemn the incident.

After igoring body cams during the entire debate with @DeFundWPD, all of a sudden #WorcPoli are “dismayed” there’s no $$ in the Police budget for body cams.

6/30
Nicole dissects the Clark University report on WPD June 1st arrests related to BLM organizing

6/29
Jai Chavis from Worcester Independent Socialist Group speaks at City Hall rally calling for WPD budget cuts.

6/26
Worcester Blue Lives Matter rally attended by City Councilors Kate Toomey, Candy Carlson & Moe Bergman, Three Percenters, and QAnon supporters.

6/23
What was Worcester’s Service Aide initiative? What does this have to do with @DefundWPD?

6/22
Worcester City Officials shout “Transparency” “Transparency”, while at the same time, @Telegramdotcom remains locked in yet anoather lawsuit attempting to gain the release of withheld police records

6/19
Clive McFarlane: Worcester city leaders abet police misconduct through inaction. “which is more of a farce–President Trump giving a unity speech or former Worcester Major Ray Mariano giving us policing reform advice”

6/18
Officer Shawn Barbale Approaches Man Accused of Firing Gun, But Disarms Him Without Ever Drawing a Weapon

6/16
Worcester City Council approves police budget increase after weeks of demands from residents to defund WPD.

6/9
Retired and well-respected police officer Al Toney speaks out on what it was like being a black cop in Worcester

Worcester Police fails to protect Black mother and her children.

6/8
Worcester public defenders rally for black lives.

6/6
Worcester holds rally to maintain push to Defund Worcester PD.

6/2
Twitter thread from of journalist reporting on riot police targeting BLM protestors in Main South.

6/1
Freelance journalist says police targeted him with projectiles after he identified himself as press.

George Floyd Protest at Worcester City Hall @OSarkodieh & Q-Power TV.

4/10
This is Worcester #98. Bill Coleman hosts WCCATV show focused on Worcester’s history of hiring black police officers.

3/20
“T&G still pursuing police IAD records in court, 17 years after landmark ruling”

3/14
The T&G reports that basic police records, such as accident reports and arrest logs, are harder to get in Worcester than several other large New England cities

10/27
Worcesteria: Bias on the Board of Health? Part of the story of behind the scenes planning to keep Worcester residents from discussing systemic racism in the Worcester Police Dept.

10/23
After a public voite of “no confidence” and call for Board of Health Chair Edith Claros to resign by Worcester NAACP, City Manager states he will not ask for Board President to resign.

10/22
@TheWooNAACP calls for Board of Health Chair to resign after emails expose her efforts to block debate of police reform measures with City staff and Police Officials.

1/21
Worcester Police Officer Michael Escobar arrested after drunkenly driving stolen car onto train tracks.

1/8
Carlos Alvarez files lawsuit against City of Worcester claiming Officer Michael McKiernan searched his phone without a warrant and lied about doing so under oath.

1/1
The Mass Dump publishes a list provided by the City of lawsuits filed against Worcester police officers between Jan. 1, 2010 to August 20, 2020

2019

6/1
Human Rights Commission survey shows neighborhood watch meetings do not reflect Worcester diversity.

4/8
MassLive’s closer look at Worcester’s payroll records reveals more than $10 million in detail pay, average of $19,670 for public safety employees

3/1
Councilor Rivera responds to Superintendent’s newspaper report that Main South is a bad neighborhood and therefore a full-time police officer is needed at Clareemont Academy.

2/25
A report in @Telegramdotcom says Superintendent Binienda support the hiring of a 6th SRO officer by the WPS with the intention of stationing the Officer at Claremont Academy.

2/14
Worcester Police Officer Paul McCarthy resigns amid allegations he stole about $1,000 from wallet while working hospital detail.

11/7
SJC revives 25-year-old discrimination lawsuit by Worcester police officers

10/29
A different story of the Beer Garden melee begins to appear. “There’s no indication of anybody assaulting police officers, but there is very clearly pictures of officers assaulting these individuals."

1/30
Clive McFarlane: State police overture on diversity rings hollow. Globe investigation cites “racial slurs and racist jokes, homophobic taunts, sexual advances, and lewd remarks."

2018

9/20
ACLU to petition Worcester City Council on surveillance transparency, body cams

8/10
Worcester Police issued it’s most recent “Use of Force” Policy

Clive McFarlane: City Manager Augustus & Chief Sargent refuse to respond to accusation that Worcester Police routinely “lie, fabricate evidence, file malicious charges and suppress exculpatory evidence."

8/7
Worcester denies request for internal affairs’ histories of officers accused of misconduct

7/28
Worcester civil rights lawyer Hector Pineiro calls for DA Joe Early to investigate Worcester police credibility citing “numerous instances of police lying, falsifying evidence and violating constitutional rights.

6/12
Unnamed Worcester cops caught on video continuously punching and beating Zachary Lugo and his brother Mitchell Lugo outside Riviera strip club.

6/10
Gang of officers beat restrained man outside of nightclub.

6/6
71 complaints filed against WPD in 2017; 12 were sustained.

5/19
@MassLiveNews catches Chief Sargent off-guard and he blames the $4 million in police overtime on “special projects, parades and protests”. This was a surprise to every parade & festival organizer in Worcester.

5/10
Natale Cosenza filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Worcester and 8 police officers, saying police fabricated evidence used in his assault and burglary trial.

Natale Cosenza press conference alleges Police fabricated evidence that sent him to prison for 16 years.

4/24
Video of inmate brutality at the Worcester House of Correction floods social media.

4/17
UMass Medical students hold ‘die-in’ to protest police shootings of black Americans.

4/14
Worcester settles 3 excessive force cases (Ramirez, Hickson & Morris) for $118K - broken jaw, fractured teeth and severe facial injuries.

4/10
Worcester Attorney Hector Pineiro issues public call for probe of credibility of Worcester Police Officers.

Atty Hector E. Pineiro submits detailed documentation to District Attorney Joe. Early demanding a full investigation into allegations of misconduct by Worcester police officers, citing 12 specific cases of wrongdoing.

Pineiro letter cites 12 cases of Police physical abuse, fabrication of evidence, racial/ethnic bigotry, baseless charges, cash seized but never reported, strip/body cavity searches w/o cause and the deliberate suppression of evidence.

3/16
@MassLiveNews covers press conference announcing new police precinct in Worcester’s Union Station

2/22
City Councilor @KateToomey joins PR effort for Worcester Police Department’s use of new simulators.

12/16
508BikeLife made this amazing documentary about their biking and the police repression

12/5
Clive McFarlane: “Being a Worcester police officer is a good gig if you can get it. It offers the potential to annually be among the best compensated public employees in the city."

12/4
City Councilor @KhrysKringle interviewed in support of pilot body cam program. No mention of the $200 given to every police officer.

11/20
“I found this walking off of Green St. The wind brought me this message…. from the homeless."

11/2
Clive McFarlane: Good cops can be deterrent to police misconduct

10/3
Clive McFarlane: Worcester Police Department at odds with city’s creed

1/30
WPD rewards Officer Neil Shea, who was caught by an online Pedophile sting, with full retirement benefits. Full expose via @techdirt

1/9
Lawsuit alleges Worcester police officer William A. Hinson, battered 14-year-old Melissa Montanez an eighth-grader at the time weighing “no more than 90 pounds” accusing her of loitering and disrespecting him.

2017

9/29
Clive McFarlane: Prison pipeline can drain whole city - The cost of incarcerating Worcester residents is about $24 million annually, twice the 2013 budget for Quinsigamond Community College

9/22
Worcester Attorney Hector Pineiro, Worcester police have a history of rough rides

9/20
Hatem Halabi, files lawsuit against WPD after receiving a “rough ride” and being refused medical attention after multiple requests. #FreddieGray

9/9
Worcester’s @Telegramdotcom reported that booking video appears to show other officers were aware of Officer Michael Motyka’s assault of prisoner in jail cell. Once again Police DO NOT report police brutality.

9/8
Worcester T&G publishes surveillance video from Police holding cell from Motyka brutality case

7/13
Promotional video of the new Worcester Police Mounted Patrol unit released.

5/24
Former Worcester cop Rajat Sharda denied new trial after 2015 guilty verdict for sexually assaulting a woman at the Bancroft Tower

5/17
Clive McFarlane: Double standard on law and order

4/5
Police actively support downtown gentrification campaign by securing a warrant for the entire Midtown Mall on Franklin St., casting a dark shadow and causing economic harm to the predominantly immigrant and BIPOC owned businesses.

2/19
WPD riot police arrest local activists marching.

12/24
T&G reports that diversity is a priority for the Chief, but they also have to “abide by a federal consent decree that requires one in every three candidates being considered for hire to be a minority.".

12/13
WPD Chief Steven Sargent was one of 18 Massachusetts law enforcement officials to take a 7-day trip to Israel to learn counter-terrorism policing strategies.

Worcester News Tonight - Chief Sargent returns from Israel to learn counter-terrorism policing strategies.

11/29
Former Worcester cop Michael Motyka will serve 2 years probation for beating a shackled prisoner

11/1
Worcester Police arrest 13 an 15 year olds for swerving inside the Pearl-Elm municipal parking garage

10/17
@TweetWorcester and @WorcesterPD announce the creation of a task force to respond to dangerous trend of “swerving”.

1/24
City Council approves filling of 23 vacant positions and hiring of 7 more police officers. At this point in time Worcester had 344 officers and this increased the total to 374.

1/10
Lawsuit filed against local & state police officers Sgt. James P. Devilin , Det. Nicholas E. Nason, Sgt. Richard Cipro, Det. James Carmody, Det. Shawn Barbale et. al. after botched no-knock Hillside Ave. raid terrorizes Diaz family.

2016

9/8
Officer Sharon McQueen has been appointed as WPD’s new LGBTQ Liaison Officer, a position which was created in 2014

8/26
Woman raped by on-duty Worcester police officer in Worcester park files lawsuit against city

8/21/
Worcester T&G reporter @BPetrishenTG reports on botched Hillside Ave. No-Knock raid; “SWAT team breaks into wrong Worcester house”

8/16
Dianne Williamson: 16 year old Nga Truong “Worcester police interrogation put truth out of reach”

6/30
Nga Truong gets $2.1M settlement from Worcester

5/16
@TweetWorcester announces Steve Sargent as new Chief. “He is also committed to ensuring the Worcester PD is transparent and accountable to the community, another area that is deeply important to me,"

5/5
Former member of Worcester’s notorious Gang Unit, Steve Sargent, is named new Police Chief.

2/2
GoLocal Worcester reports Police Recruit Class Fails to Reflect Worcester’s Population, class of recruits includes Zero Black People.

10/4
Dianne Williamson: Nurse humiliated by police response to misunderstanding

1/26
Fox 25 reports story of off-duty Worcester police officer engaging in road rage shouting “he and his buddies were going to be coming to visit me”. WPD refuses to release Officer’s name.

1/24
Pie and Coffee interview with Julius Jones on Worcester’s BLM.

1/21
The trial of 4 Worcester BLM activists Connor, Gibbs, Jones and Ksen targeted by Worcester Police comes to an end. Pie and Coffee provides a summary

3 Black Lives Matter protesters fined $100 for Kelley Square action.

1/18
Quinsigamond Community College Police throw 71 year old activist Chris Horton to the ground for distributing anti-foreclosure fliers at Worcester’s annual MLK Day breakfast.

2015

9/24
Worcester Public Schools ban hoodies.

9/21
Worcester Police officer Michael J. Motyka is indicted in beating of prisoner

9/16
WPD solicits camera cooperation from business leaders - “the department has more than 1,000 city-owned and business-owned cameras throughout the city, some with the capability to stream live video to the police”

9/15
Boston Globe Editorial - “Worcester raid-gone-wrong merits independent review” No Knock raid on Hillside Ave. goes terribly wrong.

9/10
“Local Media Still Battle for Transparency with Worcester Police Chief Gemme”

9/7
Clive McFarlane: Without action, words don’t matter for black lives movement . . . the actions of city leaders starkly contradict their rhetorical commitment to social justice.

9/1
Lawyer for Shane Jackson says he has ‘no connection’ to Worcester apartment WPD & State Police screwed-up and mistakenly raided with “No Knock” warrant. Terrorizing family that lives there.

8/27
Worcester Chief says SWAT team “did what they were supposed to do” after no-knock raid leads to raid of wrong house terrorizing Diaz family

8/20
Mayor Petty and City Manager Augustus implement School Resource Officers (SROs) in the Worcester Public Schools.

8/19
Worcester Black Lives Matter organizer Julius Jones interviewed on Democracy Now after challenging Hillary Clinton over her crime record in New Hampshire

Botched No-Knock SWAT raid terrorizes Worcester’s Hillside Ave. family and children @ACLU_MA

After expanding the # of police in @WorcesterPublic at the end of the 2014 school year citing school safety concerns, @MayorPetty announces just a few months later he’s expanding SRO’s again before the school year begins.

7/30
Wilmer Delgado-Soba, suffering mental health breakdown, dies after Worcester police use Taser at Pennywise Market

Mentally-ill man dies after being tased by Worcester Police

7/29
Police, responding to a disturbance at Pennywise Market on Chandler St. Tase Wilmer Delgado-Soba who dies of cardiac arrest. Chief Gemme points media to “possible opiate use” and “possible medical condition”.

Worcester agrees to pay Gerald Jones over claims police officer used racial slurs and beat him in a jail cell

7/15
Edwin Vega-Santiago says he was just standing on the street with his friend and girlfriend in 2012 when he was attacked by two WorcesterDetective James Guittar and Officer Michael Ryder.

Worcester man files suit alleging Police brutality.

7/12
71 Police-Involved Deaths In Massachusetts From 2004 - 2014 Victor Davila - Worcester.

6/25
Boston Globe report: Alleged Worcester beating latest in a pattern.

6/18
Worcester Police re-launch Clergy/Police Partnership.

6/9
Worcester agrees to pay Francisco Sanabria $53,000 over claim that police fractured his eye socket during 2009 arrest.

6/8
Rajat Sharda, former Worcester cop, to serve 5-7 years in jail for rape.

That time the City held “Race Dialogues” with the Dept. of Justice but the Worcester Police boycotted the 3rd session on Public Safety.

6/4
Former Worcester Police officer Rajat Sharda found guilty of raping woman while on duty at Bancroft Tower.

5/30
Clive McFarlane: A closer look at Worcester PD is overdue “This is a clear indication that the city leaders are not taking this problem as seriously as they should.”

5/27
U.S. Dist. Judge Timothy Hillman refuses to grant Officer Jeremy Smith a retrial, after jury finds he violated Wakeelah Cocroft’s rights after verbally & physically abusing her seven years previously during an alleged speeding incident.

5/18
Worcester First Justice David P. Despotopulos suggests Worcester Police read the Constitution.

4/16
City Councilor Konnie Lukes proposes Police Review Board, @MayorPetty denounces proposal and Councilor Bergman says Unless “rank-and-file” officers approved the measure, he will also oppose Lukes’ order.

4/15
Court issues charge of disturbing peace against Worcester Kelley Square BLM activists Gibbs, Ksen, Connor and Jones.

4/14
That time Sarai Rivera inspired Konnie Lukes to propose a Civilian Review Board, and City Manager Augustus seemed on-board.

Communities United Collective held City Hall rally in support of 4 local BLM actiivists being prosecuted for participation in a Jan. 9th Kelley Square protest. Prosecution reflective of WPD symbiotic relationship with local hate blog.

4/9
Worcester Officer Michael Motyka arrested for civil rights violations, after making comments about a man’s “black skin” and being taped forcing the handcuffed and shackled man against a wall, punching him, throwing him to the ground.

3/30
Clive McFarlane: A closer look at Worcester PD is overdue

3/17
The Coming Together Collective calls for the removal of police from Worcester Public Schools

A coalition including the Black Clergy Alliance, Centro Las Americas, Mosaic Cultural Complex, YWCA of CM, Belmont A.M.E. Zion Church and the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Assoc. calls for the removal of police from Worcester schools.

3/12
WPD begins process of linking Worcester Public School video cameras to City’s “Real-Time Crime Center”

3/3
WPS Superintendent and Mayor announce full-time police liaison and a plain-clothed police officer to be assigned at North High.

12/2
Clive McFarlane: Police training emphasizes defusing volatile encounters

11/16
Worcester Police Chief Gemme in yet another controversy, contract protects him #NARCAN #Opioids

11/11
Clive McFarlane: Kelley Square Four face obstacles to a fair trial “Do you think the Black Lives Matter movement is an anti-American movement?"

11/9
Judge Timothy S. Hillman strikes down Worcester’s anti-panhandling ordinance as unconstitutional

10/27
Worcester police patrollman’s union, Local 911, endorses Gaffney for mayor

10/9
The City arranged a photo-op for the “Quality of Life” Task Force. Rather than trained social workers helping the homeless, Police w/o warrants dig through peoples’ private belongings while Nuisance Inspectors “clean-up”. #BrokenWindows

10/4
Worcester pays 63 year old grandmother Daisy Morales $125,000 over claim that police slammed her to the floor in a racially motivated outburst

10/2
A primarily White Worcester Police response team, fires pepper spray at a mostly Black & Latino college students waiting to get into the “I Love College Tour” at the Palladium.

1/19
Worcester BLM shut down Kelley Square for 4.5 minutes remembering Mike Brown with an MLK Day call for racial justice and to state loud and clear that Black Lives Matter. Thanks @FFMCoop for documenting this event.

1/15
Special program organized by Sgt. Rick Cirpo, trains military police from Guantanamo to become local police officers.

1/13
Clive McFarlane: “If there was any question that the police run this city, it was answered over the past few days as Police Chief Gary Gemme went on a publicity blitz to protect and serve his department."

City Councilor Lukes leads a reactionary effort against BLM to rally around the WPD. Councilors Bergman, Economou, Gaffney Palmieri, Rosen, Russell, Toomey, Petty support pro-police resolution. Councilors Rivera and Rushton vote No.

1/2
Keesha LaTulippe calls out Councilor Lukes for disrespecting POC and dismissing their concerns voiced at Michael Brown rally. Lukes follows by proposing resolution in support of the WPD.

2014

9/8
GoLocal Worceter EDITORIAL “Chief Gemme Must Go . . . .Gemme is not fit to serve as police chief”

9/6
And then we all learned, “Worcester Police Chief Gemme Can’t Be Fired With Current Contract”

9/4
Upset by a @WorcesterMag article, “Police Wage War on Media”, Chief Gemme cancels meeting to discus improved relations

8/21
GoLocal reports 43 calls to WPD seeking comet last month that were ignored. Both City Manager Ed Augustus and Mayor Joseph Petty acknowledged the situation but choose not to comment.

8/8
GoLocal Worcester reports WPD drags its feet for months failing to implement “best practices” with NARCAN. “Dozens have died”

7/4
Worcester Polie Officer William Stout charged w/ home invasion, breaking & entering w/ intent to commit a misdemeanor and assault & battery. Wearing his uniform and gun during alleged attack Stout told the victim he would kill him

5/12
Clive McFarlane: Statistics don’t lie. They simply say what you want them to say. City Councilor Moe Bergman dismisses calls for City Council to review excessive force complaints against Worcester Police.

3/28
Jury awards Wakeelah Cocroft $15K, finding Worcester Police Officer Jeremy Smith violated the Mass. Civil Rights Act and her 4th Amendment rights

3/8
Worcester residents held a protest outside Worcester Police Headquarters to rally against police abuse and misconduct, and to call for a citizen review board.

12/7
Worcester Chief Gary Gemme proudly tells @BPetrishenTG he estimates “that in his 10 years as chief, 10 to 12 officers have been arrested, about 12 have been fired and many more have been suspended.”

10/21
I-Team: Mass. Police Departments Considering Body Cameras “Worcester will be the first. If all goes well with a new pilot program, they plan to have body cameras on their officers by early 2015.”

10/10
Demand Abolition:“Exposing Massachusetts’ lopsided arrests for prostitution” 92% of prostitution arrests female, WPD response; “prostituted women’s increased visibility over their male customers is why they are arrested more often."

10/9
The Scarlet reports on End Demand Worcester rally. “In 2013, Worcester made 171 prostitution-related arrests, the most of any city in Mass. Of the 171 arrests made in Worcester, a staggering 91 percent were sex workers”

10/1
Former WPD Officer Bil Gardner and Spencer Perry join Keesha LaTulippe to discuss police brutality on an episode of “Black Legacy Presents”

2013

6/24
Clive McFarlane Police code of silence gets broken “Former Worcester police officer Keith Logan claims in an affidavit that vice squad officers would routinely brag about beating up people”

6/18
City Councilors will no longer poll each other on agenda items after Open Meeting Law complaints filed after illegal communications prior to passig panhandling ordinance.

5/13
The @ACLU_Mass filed federal lawsuit to block new Worcester anti-panhandling law, claiming it is “unconstitutional and violate the right to peacefully solicit donations in public and to engage the public in political and other speech."

5/7
Lt. William H. Goddard charged with the theft of over $13,000 in community grant money, ordered to pay $32K in restitution. Gets off scot-free from jail time or punishment.

4/12
Officers Charles Brace, James Guittar & Armando Garcia, along with Sgt. Ken Davenport file lawsuit accusing Chief Gemme and City Manager O’Brien of allowing promotional exams to expire to deny minority officers promotions.

4/8
Worcester settles lawsuits accusing police of mistreatment

3/29
Court documents reveal atrocious attack by Police Officer Jeremy Smith against Wakeelah Cocroft after stop for speeding on Park Ave

3/28
Attorney for the City of Worcester tells court it is Nga Truong attorney’s fault for the 16 year olds false arrest, illegal forced confession and 3 year incarceration.

3/14
the Real Time Crime Center continues to grow after $75K Executive Office of Public Safety & Security (EOPSS) grant funds launch of Worcester video surveillance..

3/12
GoLocalWorcester reports “Worcester Police Hold 45 of 50 Highest Paid Positions in City” Nothing ever changes.

GoLocalWorcester’s publishes list of 50 highest paid Worcester employees. Police Police Police (LIST)

2/27
Attorneys and legal associations across the country rebel against City Solicitor David Moore’s lawsuit claiming Nga Truong’s 3 year false imprisonment is her attorney’s doing and the City of Worcester should not be held to blame.

Atty. Ed Ryan Jr., lawyer for Nga Truong a minor harassed and coerced into a false confession by WPD Sgt. Kevin Pageau and Det. John Doherty, is now going to be sued by the City of Worcester.

2/15
State audit of the Worcester DA’s Office questions $903K in forfeited drug $ expenditures - zamboni, lawn furniture & tennis court renovation. Current asset forfeiture $ should be accounted for by DA and WPD.

2/13
Local activists challenge new City Ordinance and WPD efforts to crack down on “panhandlers."

12/17
For the 1st time in 20yrs, WPD promoted Sgt. Kenneth Davenport, a black police officer to a lieutenant position, following Lt. Loman A. Rutherford Sr., the last black lieutenant

12/6
CITY OF WORCESTER vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION & Leon Dykas. Probably the best explanation of why Chief Sargent has said he wants to get rid of Civil Service and why the IBPO is fighting hard to preserve it.

10/19
That time Officer McGuinness stripped and auditioned to get on a reality TV show.

10/8
Worcester Police Officer Robert Farrar given bail w/ house arrest in a domestic assault case. He plead not guilty to assault & battery, aggravated assault & battery, assault & battery with a dangerous weapon and possession of Percocet.

1/25
“When the Ped is a Brother” an additional view of the Worcester Police Depts. decision to abruptly terminate a sting after catching a Worcester Police Officer offering sex to a minor

1/23
Clive McFarlane exposes how Officer Neil Shea was caught in an online pedophile sting offering sex to whom he thought was a 14yr old girl. WPD abruptly terminated the sting with “Latenightcop171” after realizing he was a Worcester cop.

2012

9/13
$75K grant supports the birth of Worcester’s “Real Time Crime Center”. Growing number of private security camera live feeds from around the city being linked directly to new video command center

8/2
ACLU of Mass files public records request for policies, oversight and data related to Automatic License Plate Readers ALPRs (PDF)

7/11
A rookie state trooper who had been on the job for three months fired a shot through the windshield of a stolen car, killing 43-year-old Victor Davila at Irving & Chandler Sts. gas station in Worcester.

5/28
GoLocal Worcester “Trayvon Martin Could Have Been David Russo in Worcester” Are crime watches “endorsing and engaging in profiling?"

5/23
After months of fighting, City Council frustrations hit local media, “City Councilors Want Chief Gemme Gone”

5/11
For Sunshine Week, the T&G reviewed Worcester Police logs.

5/3
WPD finally holds cancelled April 19 forum on systemic racism in the Worcester Police.

4/20
Community activists are disappointed the forum with the police department to deal with race issues was canceled.

4/19
Fearful of ongoing protests of systemic racism in the WPD, Chief Gemme cancels community forum on race relations he announced 2 weeks previously.

4/14
WPD Chief Gary Gemme forced to deactivate his twitter account @911Chief after using it to attack local media, judges and elected officials.

“Chief Gemme Violates City Social Media Standards” Worcester social media policy created to address police transparency and Chief’s behavior.

Chief Gary Gemme deactivates his @911Chief Twitter account. Before there was Donald Trump there was Gary Gemme.

4/13
WPD has a long history of disrupting and intimidating organizing efforts to hold them accountable. Here Chief Gemme claims to have assigned 1 Police Officer per 4.5 Black gay ministry supporters.

4/12
Claudia Russo, mother of 14 yr old David Russso, challenges racial profiling that led to the arrest of her son while walking home. Questions raised about role of campus police in Worcester’s Hammond Heights incident.

Community leaders rallied before the City Council meeting to call for action after details of the David Russo’s racial profiling incident.

4/7
Ongoing community unrest re:WPD profiling an arrest of David Russo– Isabel Gonzalez: Why Police Chief Should Meet With Hammond Heights Residents

4/6
ACLU report “Arrested Futures” report released. Worcester hasn’t always had police in our schools. SURPRISE Worcester had much lower arrest #‘s in schools back then (Full Report PDF)

4/5
Worcester Police announce they will host community forum on race relations.. blah blah blah blah (the Chief will cancel at the last minute.)

4/4
Residents rally at City Hall in response to David Russo racial profiling and systemic racism in the police. Police try to intimidate those attending with 12 cruisers on scene blocking access. .

“The Scarlet”, published by Clark University students joins calls for Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme to step down

4/3
Isabel Gonzale-Webster and community residents hold City Hall rally decrying racial profiling by the WPD which led to the arrest of David Russo

3/27
GoLocal Worcester “Mayor tries to muzzle council on police chief”

Police Chief Gemme and City of Worcester lose legal battle.The Chief had expressed “safety concerns” about going to the Main South law office of Hector Pineiro but the judge rules Gemme must submit to a videotaped deposition.

And if you’ve read the Telegram article regarding Chief Gemme’s safety concerns about giving a deposition at Hector Pineiro’s office, you may find the following of interest:

3/26
@MayorPetty attempts to move City Councilor’s calls for Chief Gemme’s removal off the front page and behind closed doors.

3/25
Worcester’s @niccommawoo recitation on Gary Gemme, “a case of a police chief who acts as if he is above the law and a city government who continually tells him he is above the law”

3/24
“Gang of nine” wants Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme out

3/23
GoLocal Worcester reports former Mayor Jordan Levy counts 9 City Councilors wanting the removal of Chief Gary Gemme. Gemme had been engaging in ongoing attacks against local media and ohters.

3/15
Jim Kersten publishes - “Chief Gemme Should Resign or Be Removed”

3/13
Chief Gemme, Cpt. O’Rourke and City continue fight to avoid Pineiro deposition. The “planned use of video recording devices for the depositions appears to be an effort to annoy, embarrass, oppress or cause undue burden."

3/7
That time out of control gang unit member Carmelo Oquendo showed up on TLC’s “Next Best Baker”

2/16
“Questions Remain In Coerced Worcester Confession” @WBUR interview with Nga Truong

2/5
Dianne Williamson: Overwrought WPD releases hurt credibility . . . “So the police responded to an inquiry about its vitriolic press releases by releasing a vitriolic press release before I had even written the story."

11/27
Educators call it “shocking”, “disturbing”, that @S_T_C_C hired former Worcester cop Mark Rojas to teach. Rojas had been accused of” beatings, harassment, misuse of police databases and lying to superiors to cover it up."

1/1
@WBUR publishes interview with Nga Truong (Youtube)

2011

8/23
Nga Truong released from jail after nearly 3 years. Charges were dropped after Judge Janet Kenton-Walker suppressed the illegal and horrendous forced confession.

8/9
Dianne Williamson - Gemme plays revenge as blood sport “How can cops fight crime when they’re fighting among themselves?"

7/26
Worcester handgun manufacturer Kahr Arms on Goddard Dr. agrees to pay nearly $600K to the families of two people shot, one of them fatally, by a pistol stolen from the Worcester gun plant

6/6
Officer Mark Rojas served under 4 Chiefs despite having a lengthy Internal Affairs file of 15 cases, more than 1,500pgs. Of course @Telegramdot.com had to sue for the community to learn this.

Officer Mark Rojas terrorizes his ex-girlfriend, “I’ll kill you …I’ve done so in my dreams. I’ve killed you …I watched you die … And heard your screams”

4/3
Dianne Williamson: “Investigation of Gemme’s Brother Hazy”

2/25
Judge Janet Kenton-Walker rules WPD Officers illegally obtained confession from 16 year old Nga Truong. Attorney calls it “emotional torture."

12/30
WBUR publishes Nga Truong interrogation video after fighting Worcester PD in court for its release. This video ultimately led to Truong’s release. (WARNING)

12/9
PBS’s Frontline dissects the WPD’s interrogation of Nga Truong

11/30
Civil rights lawsuit filed against PO’s Kevin Pageau & John Doherty for the arrest and forced confession of 16 yr old Nga Truong. Everyone should know this horrible story. Read the lawsuit (PDF)

11/9
Mass. Commission Against Discrimination decision released “Worcester Police Dept. shall immediately cease and desist from engaging in the discriminatory practices” Black Officers Harris & Tatum lawsuit against City. (PDF)

11/7
Worcester Police arrest “about 25” Occupy Worcester protestors in a late night raid at Worcester Common.

10/16
Pie and Coffee publishes “A Quick History of Occupy Worcester”

10/9
Occupy Worcester’s 1st General Assembly

1/20
Tensions rise between WPD Chief and Union president. Chief asking a police officer to not perform private union business on city time and taxpayer money.

1/6
Dianne Williamson exposes Chief Gemme’s transfer of Lt. Jane McGrath, the highest ranking female officer, after she files complaint against Chief’s brother. Chief later lies and says meeting never happened.

2010

6/6
Tom Caywood and @Telegramdotcom pries more public documents from City of Worcester related to complaints against Officer Mark Rojas. “Records show aspects of officer’s past are ‘scary’"

2/10
Clive McFarlane: Gag orders aren’t the way to earn respect. City of Worcester imposing gag orders as part of police lawsuit settlements.

10/22
The City initiates civil action against Officer Leon Dykas. Dykas broke his “Last Chance Settlement Agreement” in which he agreed he would not “[engage] in any further misconduct related to his ex-wife or her friends”

2009

8/9
Renewed debate over police education stipend

Quinn Bill comparison: A starting teacher with a Masters gets approx. $5K additional pay, $15K w/ a Doctorate, meanwhile a junior police officer with a Bachelor’s Degree receives an $11,856 Quinn Bill bonus and a $15K bonus w/ a Masters.

Ray Mariano is exposed for patronage as WHA Director hiring former Worcester Police Officer Brian Benedict was sentenced to federal prison in 2007 after aiding a local drug ring.

5/26
Offcr. William D. Mosley in court for aggravated domestic assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime against pregnant wife.

5/19
Officer William D. Mosley arrested and charged with aggravated domestic assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime. Placed on restricted duty.

4/3
Former T&G investigative reporter Tom Caywood reveals Worcester taxpayers paid out $1.2 million over past decade to settle civil rights lawsuits alleging brutality or other misconduct by police officers,.

11/3
Worcester man sues City and Fox Broadcasting for $10 million related to out of control policing during “Cops” filming

Lawsuit filed against City of Worcester and Fox Broadcasting, WPD Officers and Fox Cops camera crew broke into house and filmed the cops individual being arrested while laying naked in bed.

10/20
T&G’s @SSutner reports, “criticizing the T&G’s recent coverage of police bonuses for academic degrees, police officials yesterday signaled that they intend to boycott the newspaper and provide information only to local radio & TV”.

10/19
Chief Gemme’s Tweet rants go on, “@Telegramdotcom, . . [is] trying to remain relevant as a legitimate news org. Unfortunately, the dark, dirty, & poorly lit newsroom is affecting their neutrality, professionalism, and integrity."

Worcester’s Chief Gemme was really ahead of his time, “I believe that in order to survive as an enterprise the T&G now places a premium on hyperbole over reality, fiction over fact, and innuendo over truth”

10/18
Worcester T&G investigates - “Extra pay for police based on “degrees that are useless”

2008

8/1
Decision by Judge Gant who ruled Sgt. Timothy J..O’Connor lied to court, upheld on appeal

7/25
Vice members Lt. Timothy J. O’Connor; Sgt. Eric A. Boss, Officers Paul W. Noone; James M. O’Rourke & Darnell McGee and also Sgts. Michael J. Coakley & Faith A. Roch “under investigation for allegedly fraudulently filing for overtime”.

7/18
Chief Gemme institutes policy requiring bars to hire 2 off-duty POs rather than just 1. Dianne Williamson publishes the ensuing email exchange between Gemme and Councilor Germain.

5/23
Officer John M. Degon was arrested after police learned a Jeep Wrangler that was reported stolen on May 17, was in fact not stolen and officer Degon allegedly helped hide the false claim.

2/18
Worcester agrees to pay $100,000 over lawsuit claiming that seven police officers used excessive force when they broke nine bones of Daniel Houde’s face during arrest.

12/2
Worcester Indymedia reported on on-going WPD harassment of livery drivers and patrons. On multiple occasions the WPD has shut-down business completely leaving waiting patrons needing rides to doctors’ appointments and markets stranded.

Worceter Chief Gemme recommends the firing a veteran vice squad officer Lt. Timothy J. O’Connor who is charged with abusing court overtime.

12/1
After calling the Police for help, 16 yr old Nga Truong is arrested, forced into an illegal confession which ultimately leads to nearly 3 year wait for her case to be heard.

Worcester Police force a false murder confession out of 16 yr old Nga Truong, whose baby had just died. No attorney and no parents present. Truong spends 3 yrs in prison before release

11/17
“The paper is still waiting for those records, even though the city already has cashed the $1,500 it charged to produce the records."

11/13
Officer David N. Luong arrested on one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon against his girlfriend.

2007

7/10
Officer Heriberto Arroyo convicted of 2 counts of drug conspiracy resigns, following the earlier resignation of Officer Brian Benedict for drug offenses related to GHBm GBL, cocaine and Ecstasy

7/8
Officer Heriberto Arroyo was convicted in U.S. District Court in Worcester on two conspiracy drug charges.

3/19
Judged by jury of their peers? " In consecutive trials of minority clients of Worcester lawyer Peter L. Ettenberg in Worcester Superior Court, there was one minority member in the jury pools – a combined total of 160 potential jurors”

12/29
Jury finds Police Officer Jeremy Smith violated Wakeelah Cocroft after assaulting her for speeding. Police Chief Gary Gemme says he’ll go back to court ot fight decision.

2006

9/21
Complaint filed against Officer Mark Rojas for false arrest after WPD fails to investigate complaints

7/28
After days of protest and Police running wild in the streets, Chief Gemme announces Fox TV Show Cops will be asked to leave Worcester. Claims he never saw the show.

Worcester becomes only the 2nd city to terminate agreement with Fox Cops.

7/24
Worcester Indymedia’s @bela_nico report on the Fox Cops Out rally organized by youth, community, and clergy against how WPD was harassing and terrorizing parts of the Worcester community for the TV cameras.

7/23
Community leaders Roberto Diaz and Xavier Johnson call for City Hall demonstration to get rid of Fox Cops from Worcester

7/21
Emergency community meeting held at Worcester Youth Center after police harassment and arrests dramatically increase after Fox TV show COPS begins filming without any community discussion.

7/20
Unknown to the community, @Telegramdotcom announces Fox TV Show COPS has started filming in City. Reports of police harassment of youth of color, homeless individuals and the poor start adding and adding up.

7/19
Community members start sharing stories of police harassment and arrests manufacturing excitement for Fox COPS TV crew. Cop Watch video teams formed to document WPD harassment.

2/18
Pastor Crouse holds his Mr. Hetero contest, our community responds with a Kiss-In. WPD and Mechanics Hall conspire with oppressive police details of 20+ Officers.

10/27
Chief backs officers in alleged beating. Suit settled for $250,000.

10/26
Charles Evangelista settles police lawsuit for $250K. He had accused city police of beating him and rupturing his bladder while he was in custody

2004

9/2
Atty Hector Pineiro writes to City Manager O’Brien and all Worcester City Councilors raising overwhelming concerns about complete lack of police training and 2002 assault of his client Jose Bettencourt on Wellington St.

8/21
Worcester Latinx leaders organized a late night support rally in response to WPD and WHA Director Ray Mariano’s racist statements of “possible riots” and need to implement “checkpoints” after the Latino Festival

8/20
Latino community leaders hold press conference in response to racist stereotypes promoted by WPD and WHA Director Ray Mariano

6/21
Activists catch WPD conducting surveillance of all attendees to Earth First! documentary screening at ClarkU. WPD Officer pretending to be bird watcher caught few days previously photographing Elm Park press conference.

6/15
WPD conducts surveillance of local Jeff Luers supporters holding a press conference at Elm Park to announce documentary screening being moved to ClarkU in response to FBI Eco-Terror alert.

6/12
Worcester Police and FBI begin surveillance of Worcester Earth First! activists.

2002

9/8
Jose Betancourt arrested with excessive force by Worcester PD and then beaten and injured by WPD while handcuffed and in custody.

2001

10/18
Lt. John McKiernan says photography of peace-vigil activists is justified, “Two years from now, these people may be laying down in the street, and we may need to identify them…. It’s been our function for years to identify protesters”

10/8
Boston Phoenix exposé on Worcester Police - “Activists, unions, and the ACLU question Worcester cops’ practice of photographing peaceful demonstrators”

1999

5/1
Ofcr Michael A Tarckini, aka “the Shark”, beats-up & arrests Shawn Wilder at gunpoint. Investigation finds no cause for discipline. These disciplinary files are called the “Wilder File” in landmark T&G v Worcester Chief of Police et.al.

10/1
The @Telegramdotcom submitted its public records request for copies of WPD’s Internal investigation records into Shawn Wilder’s complaints against Officer Michael Tarckini. SPOILER ALERT: Nothing happened for years.

1996

9/18
Trial of Lt. William H. Goddard who was head of the WPD’s Crime Watch/Community Services Unit begins. Goddard was charged with stealing $37,707 from community service programs for him and his Hummer.

9/16
Via @Telegramdot.com City acknowledges it can’t track grant $ received by WPD. At least $225K in grants from 1993-95 was diverted to regular overtime without city council’s knowledge.

1995

5/2
Human Rights Commission report on investigation of WPD murder of Cristino Hernandez. The usual “solutions” were proposed, WPD to start cultural diversity training, human relations training and “enhanced and refined arrest procedures”

1994

5/14
The LA Times reports how Worcester Police Officer sat and knelt on Cristino Hernandez, his arms handcuffed behind him as oxygen to his brain was cut.

1985

9/4
WPD Officers push Gerard Dean down, causing his face to hit the sidewalk. Officer places gun to Dean’s ear and threatened to blow his head off. 30 minutes later, police acknowledge they had the wrong guy.

1976

2/4
Human Rights Commission forced to go to court after WPD Officers refuse to attend an excessive force investigation. Part of Human Rights Commission’s ongoing legal battles to follow the ordinance for oversight of the police.

1974

5/1
Worcester initiated the Worcester Service Aide effort. Service Aides responded to calls similar to police, but without guns.

1972

11/9
16 Worcester voters take the City and City Council to court to force the implementation of the Human Rights Commission’s subpoena powers. The City takes the position that the whole ordinance should be void.

1936

11/30
Join us in celebrating Abbie Hoffman’s birthday today !! “To Abbie With Love” - Worcester activists remember Abbie Hoffman

1924

10/18
The Worcester Klu Klux Klan Meeting & Riot of 1924

How The KKK Took Root In Worcester, And Why It Didn’t Last