The ACLU of Massachusetts and the MBTA today announced a settlement of a lawsuit over the beating, pepper spraying and arrest of Mary Celeste Holmes at the Dudley Square T stop after she publicly complained about the way officers were treating another woman there in 2014.
Among the steps agreed to by both sides: Transit Police officers will receive four hours of aggression-management training, their supervisors will enhance their systems for monitoring and acting on possibly aggressive activity and the T will make it easier for people to file complaints about officers.
Holmes also got an unspecified monetary payment.
In a joint statement, the two sides write:
"Our client is satisfied with this outcome and hopes that the improvements to MBTA monitoring and training will help ensure that others won't experience what she experienced," said Jessie Rossman, staff attorney at the ACLU of
"Prior to the resolution of this matter, our department took significant steps to improve monitoring and training and we will continue to ensure that all of our officers engage the public in a professional manner," said Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green.
Holmes sued the T in 2015 over a March 26, 2014 incident at the T stop in which she objected to the way T cops were manhandling an elderly woman. Two two cops responded by hitting her with a baton, spraying her with pepper spray and smacking her phone out of her hands as she was talking to a Transit Police dispatcher. She had her hands placed behind her back and was handcuffed.
One of the two cops, the one who wielded the baton and who had a history of complaints, was fired because of her role in attacking Holmes.
Holmes's original complaint (144k PDF).
Statement by the ACLU and Transit Police.