May 19, 2021 -Springfield- Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court seeking to compel the U.S. Department of Justice to produce any documents the department used as the basis of its findings in a July 8, 2020 report, which describes the investigation into the Springfield Police Department’s Narcotics Bureau.
The report concludes that officers in the Narcotics Bureau engaged in a pattern and practice of excessive force often violating the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The report also asserts that officers submitted reports that were inaccurate and contrary to other video, photographic, and other available evidence. The report, however, does not reveal the names of officers or any identifying information about the cases in which these abuses purportedly occurred.
The findings of the DOJ report create an ethical obligation for the Hampden District Attorney’s Office to provide any potentially exculpatory material to defendants in cases in which these officers may be involved. In seeking to fulfill these obligations, the Office made multiple requests to the U.S. Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts after the report’s publication. All of these requests were denied. The Hampden District Attorney’s Office also requested this same specified material from the City of Springfield. However, the City of Springfield stated it was unable to pinpoint officers or cases implicated by the DOJ report because of the years that the DOJ spent on the investigation and the hundreds of thousands of documents the DOJ accessed. In lieu of these specifics cited in the DOJ report, the City of Springfield has granted the Hampden District Attorney’s Office access to these more than 114,000 pages of documents originally supplied to the DOJ.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “Assertions made in the DOJ report remain a concern, as they call on our ethical duties as prosecutors to provide any information to defendants that could point to their innocence or aid them in their defense. Despite our best efforts to obtain this critically important information from the United States Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice, we have been turned away after multiple attempts spanning almost a year. The goal is to get the specifics of these serious allegations so that we can ensure the rights of accused persons are protected and fairness results from our work. If there are bad cops who are dishonest and not following the law, we want to know about it and make sure they do not stand as witnesses in our cases or affect the fairness of our criminal justice system.”
District Attorney Gulluni continued, “Efforts to cooperatively obtain this important information were denied. We will now march into federal court to find out who and what is involved in the DOJ report in order to do the right thing.” In anticipation of submitting this lawsuit, Hampden District Attorney Gulluni was sworn into the federal bar on December 17, 2020.
Attached is a copy of the lawsuit and the supporting documentation.DA-Gulluni-Federal-Lawsuit-with-exhibits-5-19-21