Police officer accused of assault reported to have told Latino teen: 'welcome to white man's world'

Don Treeger/AP

A police officer in Massachusetts is facing federal charges after he was accused of beating and racial insulting a Latino teen who was in custody.

The officer Gregg Bigda, who served in Springfield, has reportedly been suspended for the incident which happened in February 2016.

Footage obtained by Mass Liveshows Bigda threatening to beat up and kill the teenager and also plant drugs on him.

The teenager was arrested as part of a group who had been accused of stealing an undercover police car outside a pizza shop earlier that evening.

He is also reported to have said to the 14-year-old:

Welcome to white man's world. 

I’m not hampered by the f***ing truth ’cause I don’t give a f***! People like you belong in jail.

I’ll charge you with whatever. I’ll stick a f***ing kilo of coke in your pocket and put you away for 15 years

During the alleged assault, he is also said to have spat on the boy while kicking him in the head and allowing police dogs to bite the suspect, who was in handcuffs, as reported by court papers.

Steven Vigneault, who was working with Bigda on the evening, was also charged for his involvement in the incident. Bigda also faces additional charges for abusive interrogation and filling two false reports claiming that he didn't witness any police involvement in the beat-down.

He has also denied making the "white man's world" comment.

Both men pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday and were eventually released on bail but still face up to 15 years in prison.

Bigda has a string of alleged offences against his name including the assault of a pregnant woman, saying "I hate Puerto Ricans" and macing puppies to death. He has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the Springfield Police Department.

Daniel Kelly, who is the lawyer for Vigneault, is confident that his client will be cleared of the charges:

There is a tendency to rush to judgment in cases like these. We would ask that the public not rush to judgment .

On announcing their indictments US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said:

 Even in the face of adversity, law enforcement officers are expected to conduct themselves professionally, respectfully, and with integrity.

They are ambassadors for the rule of law, and when they themselves break those laws, they violate not just the rights of their victims, but compromise the public's trust in law enforcement.

HT New York Post

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