Commissioner Clapprood, Please Fire Springfield Narcotics Officer Gregg Bigda

Commissioner Clapprood, Please Fire Springfield Narcotics Officer Gregg Bigda

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Why this petition matters

Dear Springfield Police Commissioner Clapprood,

Please fire Springfield Narcotics Police Officer Gregg Bigda immediately. 

On December 13, 2021, Officer Bigda was acquitted of all charges regarding the 2016 arrest and interrogation of 3 minors; “George – 16, Daniel – 15, and Evdyele – 14”. These charges included excessive use of force and abusive interrogation and evidence provided included testimonies and falsified reports, as well as audio and video footage. Still, Bigda was acquitted which presents a clear dilemma for the Springfield Police Department and the safety of the Springfield community at large.

The actions of Officer Gregg Bigda was horrifically described on the first page of the “Investigation of the Springfield, Massachusetts Police Department’s Narcotics Bureau”, published by the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and United States Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts on July 8, 2020. This evaluation was produced following a two-year investigation of the unlawful practices and procedures of the Springfield Police Department. This federal investigation concluded that the Springfield Police Department consistently violates Springfield citizens constitutional rights protected by the 4th Amendment.  Below you will find the excerpt describing Bigda’s actions.

“Against this backdrop, Narcotics Bureau officers engage in uses of excessive force without accountability. For example, in October 2018, the United States indicted a veteran Narcotics Bureau sergeant for color of law violations related to his 2016 arrest of two juveniles. The indictment alleges that the sergeant kicked one of the youths in the head, spat on him, and said, “welcome to the white man’s world.” Further, the sergeant allegedly threatened to, among other things, crush one of the youth’s skulls and “fucking get away with it,” “fucking bring the dog back [and] let him fucking go after” a youth, “fucking kill [one of the youth] in the parking lot,” charge a youth with a murder and “fucking make it stick,” and that he would “stick a fucking kilo of coke in [one of the youth’s] pocket and put [him] away for fucking fifteen years.” The indictment also alleges that during interrogation, the sergeant “pointed to blood on his boot” and told one of the youths that if he lied, the youth’s “blood would be on [the sergeant’s] boot next.” The case is pending.”

Unfortunately, the case is no longer pending. Officer Bigda faced up to 15 years for these charges but was acquitted and is now free and can be considered dangerous based on the multitude of evidence presented throughout this case. This danger is of course maximized as technically, he is STILL a Springfield Police Officer. After officer Bigda arrested and interrogated the said minors, he was placed on a 60-day suspension in 2016. In 2018, he was suspended without pay again following the federal indictment. So as it stands, Bigda can potentially petition to be reinstated. Furthermore, he can likely request backpay for the years on suspension on the strength of his acquittal. I believe it’s obvious the immorality and consequences of both scenarios.

Mayor Sarno, one of your only superiors in this entire city, agrees that Bigda should no longer be a Springfield Police Officer. Following Bigda’s indictment, Mayor Sarno explained, “I am not the appointing authority, that rests with Commissioner Clapprood. However, this has been a stain and dark cloud hanging over our department for well over six years. I have seen the video tape. My feeling is there is no place for him on the force.”. More tangible than laundry or weather, you can also take the recommendation of the multimillion-dollar investigation conducted by the US Department of Justice to support this decision. The investigation concludes with four recommendations for the Springfield Police Department to implement. The fourth and final recommendation reads,

4. Increase Accountability Mechanisms. 

SPD should adopt policies and procedures so that officer discipline is meaningful, consistent, and appropriate. SPD should also address the fact that administrative charges can be dismissed due to timeliness issues.

This is an opportunity for you to set an accountability precedent that the Springfield Police Department does not condone excessive use of force or abusive interrogation tactics from its officers.

In other words, while the legal question has been answered, you are still responsible for answering the professional question – Commissioner Clapprood. Does Officer’s Bigda’s actions reflect the professional culture and philosophy of your Springfield Police Department? Keeping Bigda on the force after punching and kicking minors, falsifying reports, and threatening to plant drugs as a Narcotics Officer implies that his actions are something that you support and accept in the Springfield Police Department. However, in this moment, you have the opportunity to loudly declare, that the Springfield Police Department does not tolerate any violation of our community’s constitutional rights through the firing of Officer Bigda.


Thank you for your consideration.

472 have signed. Let’s get to 500!