09:29 GMT +318 January 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Two US policemen have been charged for exerting unreasonable force against two Latino teenagers during their arrest, the Justice Department announced in a press release on Wednesday.

    “Two Springfield Police Officers, one current and one former officer, were arrested today and charged in federal court in Springfield, Massachusetts, on allegations that they used unreasonable force against two Latino juveniles during an arrest,” the release said. “One of the officers is also charged with threatening the juveniles during an interrogation and falsifying subsequent reports regarding the incident.”

    According to the indictment, during the incident, which took place in February of 2016, Gregg Bigda used unreasonable force against one kid, and further spat on him saying, “Welcome to the white man’s world,” while Steven Vigneault exerted unreasonable force against a different teenager. Both instances involved the use of dangerous weapons and caused bodily injury, the release noted.

    “The indictment further alleges that after the arrests, Bigda interrogated the juveniles without their parents present and without reading them their Miranda rights, and that, during the course of the interrogations, Bigda threatened the juveniles in a number of different ways,” the Justice Department said.

    After details of the incident became to emerge, Bigda tried to obstruct an investigation into the assaults by making false statements to the Springfield Police Department Internal Investigations Unit, claiming that he did not kick anyone or see another officer kick anyone during the arrests.

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    “Bigda filed a second report in which he denied spitting on anyone or yelling “welcome to the white man’s world” during the arrest of the juveniles,” the release said.

    The Justice Department explained that the depriving the juveniles of their civil rights can lead to a possible sentence of 10 years for counts alleging that a dangerous weapon was used or that bodily injury was caused, and a maximum sentence of one year for the charges that allege no weapon or injury. Falsification of a police report carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years.


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