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Eaton (me)/Ashland News Physically Attacked by Briggs/APD, then falsely charged by APD at Oath Ceremony
Camcorder/evidence illegally taken (stolen). Briggs, wolf pack break oath within one hour of taking it. Schiavi and Davis both present. First Amendment Disgraced.
October 22, 2013
Ashland Police Lieutenant Richard Briggs, a member of the ‘Renegade Pigs’ motorcycle gang, lived up to that name again on Sunday. Not one hour after swearing an oath to respect the Constitutional Rights of Citizens, not use deception, and other promises, Briggs and others disgraced that oath by attacking me, then lying to falsely charge me with crimes, while I was exercising my First Amendment Rights to get information for the town’s people. After the ceremony, attendees (consisting almost completely of police officers and their families) filed into the high school cafeteria for a reception. Since it is the function of a reporter to bring transparency to the people, I waited until most of the crowd left, and began video recording. I approached Briggs to ask the questions he has avoided for months. Briggs does not return phone calls. The video is not available, because the Ashland Police in attendance (almost the entire department, including Davis) “confiscated”, or stole the Ashland News camcorder.
I don’t remember exactly what questions I asked at the beginning, however Briggs declined to comment, and he asked that I bring my request through chief Davis. I asked Briggs if that meant he was willing to do an interview. He did not answer, and again attempted to ‘hide’ behind the authority of Davis. As any good man-on-the-street reporter would do, I asked more questions. I asked Briggs how long he has been a member of ‘the Renegade Pigs’ motorcycle gang (club), and if it is appropriate for a police officer to be a member of such a group. At that point, a woman (apparently Michael Dionne’s wife) approached me. She began blaming this reporter for ‘stress in her life’, and said this reporter had no idea what ‘she’ was going through. I reminded her that I only report on the actions of officers, and I am not responsible for the wrongful actions of those officers. She seemed to have no regard or concern for the people who have been hurt by officer’s under Briggs’ command. She began cursing, and shoved this reporter. At around that point, Briggs lost his cool, and told this reporter to ‘leave’. At the same time, he physically pushed me toward the door. I reminded him that I was exercising my first amendment rights, and we were in a public building. Despite the unlawfulness of Briggs order, I did attempt to leave. Briggs continued to shove me as I was walking out. After I exited the cafeteria, Briggs continued shoving me from behind, and almost pushed me to the ground. At that point, I stabilized myself, and told Briggs to stop shoving me. He then grabbed me, knocking my camcorder out of my hand, and attempted to throw me to the ground. I did not return any physical aggressiveness, but of course I held myself firm, as not to be thrown to the ground and injured. At that point Briggs pushed my face against a nearby brick pier, and said, “you’re under arrest”. I kept my body tense against his assault, so I would not be injured against the bricks or floor. There was no need for Briggs to be violent. Although I knew the arrest was unlawful, I would have cooperated without any need for physicalities. Several more cops, (they do not deserve to be called ‘officers’) who I could not identify, joined with Briggs and threw me to the ground at that point. I avoided landing on my face. While on the ground one cop pushed against the back of my head, pushing my chin into the floor (it still hurts). As he did this he said, ‘stop resisting’. Apparently his idea of ‘resisting’, was that I kept my arms tense. I did this to avoid injury, as they were very aggressive, and I feared they might break my arm. They nearly dislocated my shoulder. There was no need for them to attack me. I would have simply gotten into the police car had they told me to do so. It was apparent they wanted to ‘rough me up’.
After they put hand cuffs on me behind my back, I repeatedly asked what I was being charged with. None could answer, because I didn’t do anything illegal. Upon arriving at the police station, I learned that I was being charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and to my surprise (but not surprised because this is what they do) assault and battery on a police officer. This charge especially was completely false, as the only person who was assaulted was this reporter. False charges are a common abuse of power by Briggs and ‘the wolf pack’. Many many charges have been thrown-out by the court for that reason. It is not known how many false charges perpetrated by these cops have resulted in convictions, and how many innocent people have been and are being punished. Andrew Stigliano stated that he had been repeatedly falsely charged by this same group in the interview Ashland News did with him, three months before this group killed him during an illegal raid. They killed him while he was hiding, because he didn’t want to go to jail over those malicious false charges. (He also accused them of stealing from him, and running an oxycontin dealing ring. Attorney Hennessy was attempting to investigate those claims, but with Andrew now gone, it may be impossible to do so.) I was not able to bail myself out of jail that day, and was forced to spend the night in a jail cell at the police station. Officer Araujo ‘booked me in’. He was polite and professional.
Monday morning, I was transported to the Framingham district court. As I stood before Judge Stodard, the prosecutor (name unknown at this time) quoted several misrepresentations of facts (lies) from a police report presumably written by Briggs. He also misrepresented other facts in an attempt to prejudice the judge. Attorney John Higgins, representing me, did an excellent job explaining the facts. He made the judge aware of the existence of video evidence, both from the camcorder, and video surveillance from the High School. He then motioned to ‘preserve’ the video evidence. The prosecutor requested bail be set at $1000. Judge Stodard however disagreed, and released this reporter without any need for bail. He also ruled that the video evidence be preserved for analysis.
This attack and the filing of false charges, is only the latest of a long pattern of false accusations committed by the same APD personnel, always involving Briggs. Almost the entire APD, including Chief Davis, were present and witnessed the incident. Davis allowed, and thereby endorsed Briggs’ unlawful actions. Schiavi also has endorsed this type of behavior by refusing to act on this, the killing of Stigliano, and the savage beating of Richard Odell. Ashland citizens should not be hopeful that Davis will take proper actions to clean up the department. Chief Davis, give Ashland News back the video camcorder with data intact. If personnel did nothing illegal chief Davis, then there is nothing to hide. Also, the camcorder does not belong to you or the APD. That is stealing, and it is being withheld to protect and cover up the unlawful actions of Briggs and ‘the wolf pack’ (as usual). It is Ashland News property, not APD property, and you have no right to keep it. It is theft.
Regarding the ceremony that preceded, almost everybody in attendance was a police officer, a police officer’s family member, or public official. Almost none of Ashland’s regular private citizens attended. This underscores the fact that the public at large does not place much faith in a town manager who has been long on talk, and extremely short on proper action. Regardless of this reality, the self-gratitude displayed at the event was unlike anything this writer has ever seen. Chief Doherty received a standing ovation, despite his horrible performance as chief. Doherty never held any APD personel responsible for any of their wrongful actions. The only exception is Sergeant Pomponio, who’s inappropriate actions are very minor and trivial compared to those of Briggs, Fawkes, Dionne, and several others, who have seriously physically hurt (and killed) good people. Their false accusations have seriously damaged lives and families. Ed Pomponio is being used as a ‘whipping boy’ by Schiavi. Perhaps this is Schiavi’s attempt to compensate for his un-willingness, inability, or lack of fortitude to take proper rightful action against Briggs and crew.
Doherty’s six months as Ashland’s police chief were underscored by a cover-ups, complicity in wrong-doing, and an unwillingness to deal with the true core element of all the problems at the department: Briggs and ‘the wolf pack’. The exclamation point of Doherty’s time here, was the killing of Andrew Stigliano during an illegal raid led by ‘renegade pig’ Richard Briggs. Doherty never held Briggs accountable for this action, and now this is being continued by Davis. Despite all this, Doherty received a standing ovation for his service, by a crowd made up almost entirely of police and police families. This reporter wonders what they were cheering for. This, the fact that Davis thanked Briggs for his service, and the fact that officers immediately violated the oath they just took, makes a person wonder what reality they are living in. I guess it doesn’t matter what the town thinks. This group of career government employees can always just get together for mutual admiration while Rome burns by their own hands.
Side note: Even with both hands tied behind his back, chief Rohmer was able to exercise enough control, so that nobody was ever killed during his years as chief. Schiavi placed Rohmer on leave with no official or specific reason, and has still not yet stated the reason. Schiavi only vaguely said the decision was made based on his set of ‘core values’, but has never explained exactly what those core values are. Rohmer was the only thing preventing ‘the wolf pack’ from becoming completely out of control. He did this despite police union and state civil service interference, and despite the town’s micro-management of his ability to hire and fire personnel. Could Schiavi command a military force, with an ‘enlisted man’s union’ sabotaging his efforts, second-guessing all his decisions, and creating a general mutiny against him? It’s perplexing that a Brigadier General would tolerate that kind of insubordination. All the false accusations (criminal perjury) against Chief Scott Rohmer have been swept under the rug by Schiavi, Doherty, the DA (did they ever tape all those paper shreds back together), and Davis seems poised to do the same. I guess when things continue to go bad, Schiavi can just have everybody including himself, take another meaningless oath while they tell each other how great they all are.
More to come.