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T cop convicted of beating woman at Dudley station; acquitted on civil-rights charges

A Suffolk Superior Court judge today convicted Jennifer Garvey, 34, of using her baton to beat a woman who complained about the way she and another officer were dealing with a woman at the Dudley Square T stop and of then lying about it, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

But in a jury-waived trial, Judge Douglas Wilkins acquitted Garvey on a charge of causing injury while violating a person's civil rights in the March 26, 2014 incident, and reduced one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon to assault and battery, the DA's office reports.

In a statement, DA Don Conley said he was not really satisfied with the verdict:

The level of force in this case was unlawful and inexcusable. The defendant has been held accountable for some of her actions, and we hope the victim can take some satisfaction in knowing that her voice was heard. But Judge Wilkins' decision not to convict on the most serious felony charges -- particularly with such strong evidence and testimony - shows the challenge that prosecutors face in holding officers accountable when they cross the line. The right to a bench trial belongs to the defendant, but we are left to wonder if a jury of the defendant’s peers might have reached a different conclusion.

Garvey will be sentenced on July 28.

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Comments

BPD/TP does a great job with limited resources, but when one slips through the cracks it's nice to see some accountability.

Is there a reason for not meeting the level for civil rights charges? High bar to clear?

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How so?

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I think the number of frivolous lawsuits is outrageous, but this is not a frivolous lawsuit. The MBTA, knowing about Garvey's history of violence and instability, to the point multiple law enforcement agencies wouldn't hire her, did hire her and gave her a gun and a badge. They even held the woman she assaulted overnight in a cell after her unlawful arrest by Garvey. Gross negligence. This woman, whatever her psychological issues are, is clearly dangerous and this has been known for years, even before she was hired by transit police.

And any licence she had to carry should have been revoked long ago. Lucky she didn't go on a shooting spree or shoot someone dead in a fit of rage.

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And they settled the case last month. My apologies for not including that in the original post.

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The MBTA can't be sued behind this. This is a direct matter to the transit police agency. If it was a MBTA employee, that's a different story.

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She was an MBTA employee. MBTA police are hired through the authority and paid from their budget. Garvey was discharged.

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The office of the District Attorney is mad at the judge. The judge should be outraged that the District Attorney failed to indict the other officers who stood by and watched or joined in and attacked Ms. Holmes. Whoever investigated this brutal attack and false arrest and cleared Officer Garvey should also be fired. Are there more officers like her? Her history reads like a runaway train running down everything in her path. The Governor is notably absent from this conversation although he is in charge of the Transit Police. Locking her up won't solve the problem there has to be an independent review by the Feds of the Transit Police to understand how wide spread the problems of mistreatment and brutality to the homeless and the poor and schoolkids who have to ride the MBTA every day.

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...and faced 'at least' equal punishment under the law then a regular citizen.

Just imagine the caliber of people we'd end up with protecting us.

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