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Category Archives: Civil Rights

DOJ Report Torches Pearl Street on Excessive Force, Narcotics Bureau…

UPDATED 10:37AM: To include statements from the City Council. After a two-year investigation, officials from the Department of Justice have found a disquieting pattern excessive force, shoddy and false recordkeeping and crummy supervision in the Narcotics Bureau of the Springfield Police Department. The damning portrait

Whistle Stops: The 7th Hampden View on COVID & George Floyd…

Whistle Stops is an occasional series of shorter hits from the legislative campaign trail. by Michael Lachenmeyer Correspondent-Intern For the past four months, a pandemic has ravaged the country leaving more than 100,000 Americans dead and plunging the economy into depths unseen since the Great

Amid Protests, Sarno Proposes a Trinity of Action…or a 3-card Monte?…

UPDATED 4:32PM: To include reaction from AG Healey’s office. SPRINGFIELD—In an abrupt reversal, Mayor Domenic Sarno apologized for the reinstatement of five cops charged with lying to investigators looking into the 2015 fracas outside Nathan Bill’s Bar & Restaurant. In a late morning press conference

In Latest Floyd Protest, Springfield Leans toward the Local…

SPRINGFIELD—Amid the ever-growing national demonstrations following the death of George Floyd at police hands in Minneapolis, residents here again took to the streets to demand redress for systemic racism in law enforcement. Unlike this past Wednesday’s protest, however, this past Saturday protesters focused on issues

Analysis: Springfield, at Its Own Complex Moment, Protests Floyd Killing…

SPRINGFIELD—A crowd of thousands wedged themselves into relatively narrow Pearl Street between Police Headquarters and the old armory fence that now hems in Springfield Technical Community College. They were there to protest police brutality and demand reforms to end the systemic racism that contributed to

Springfield

Take My Council, Please: To Face Brave New Worlds…

UPDATED 3:15PM: To include apparent confirmation the mayor supports the bill. SPRINGFIELD—After months of debate and false starts, the City Council approved a moratorium of sorts on the city’s use of facial recognition software. After a marathon session at the last meeting, the body set

The Pioneer Valley Women Bring the March to Springfield…

SPRINGFIELD—It may have been the largest New England city without a Women’s March in 2017, but this year Springfield hosted the Pioneer Valley chapter of the nationwide, intersectional women-led movement. After three years in Northampton, last Saturday the local Women’s March held its first event,

Michaelann

Bending the Arc of a City’s Moral Universe: Michaelann Bewsee 1947-2019…

Injustice had no greater foe in the City of Springfield than Michaelann Bewsee. After co-founding what would become the city’s feistiest community organization, Arise for Social Justice, Bewsee contributed to innumerable battles for equality and fairness. She embraced the city’s cultural mosaic without losing sight