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'Welcome to the white man's world': Cops allegedly beat up 2 Latino boys during arrest

Officer Gregg Bigda of Springfield, Mass., allegedly beat a teenage boy during an arrest. (Photo: MassLive via YouTube)

A suspended Springfield, Mass., police officer, Gregg Bigda, is now facing federal charges that he beat up a 14-year-old Latino boy and another teenager while they were under arrest. He also allegedly spat on one of the young boys and told him, “Welcome to the white man’s world,” according to the indictment.

Bigda and Steven Vigneault, a narcotics detective who resigned from the department in 2016, were charged with excessive force on Wednesday morning in relation to the February 2016 arrest of a group of teens suspected of stealing an undercover police vehicle, according to MassLive.com.

While the physical assault against the teens was not captured on video, a 30-minute surveillance video recording uploaded on YouTube features Bigda threatening to beat up one of the boys, unleash the K-9 dogs on him, and “crush your skull.”

In the video, he also threatened to plant drugs on one of the teenagers. “I’m not hampered by the f***ing truth ’cause I don’t give a f***!” Bigda is heard saying. “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.”

The teens involved with the alleged theft claim that the driver, Vigneault, who left the car while he was inside a pizza shop, was drunk the night of their arrest. Vigneault was indicted on excessive force charges along with Bigda. The suit charges that the teens were kicked in the face while handcuffed and bitten by police dogs. 

Bigda and Vigneault pleaded not guilty to the charges in court on Wednesday. They were both released on bail and could face up to 15 years in prison. Bigda has been suspended without pay, according to the Springfield police department.

According to MassLive.com, this is not Bigda’s first offense. The lawsuit alleges he has also been accused of assaulting a pregnant woman, declaring “I hate Puerto Ricans,” and macing puppies to death.

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