By The Shoestring
In 2017, the Northampton Police Department received a grant from the retailer Wal-Mart to produce baseball style trading cards to be handed out to school children in the city. Kids who successfully collected all 50 cards were given a ride to school in a police cruiser. In response, The Shoestring is creating Northampton Police Misconduct Trading Cards. This is the third card in the series. For #1 Robert Powers, click here. For #2 Alan Borowski, click here.
#3 Thomas Briotta
Like Borowski, Briotta was involved in the wrongful arrest and use of excessive force against Jonas Correia, who is Black, in 2013. Briotta was one of the officers that tackled Correia to the ground in the video of the incident that went viral. Although Correia was initially charged with assaulting a police officer, his lawyers wrote Mayor Narkewicz a 12-page letter explaining, in part, that the police misrepresented his actions, and the charges against him were dropped. Another charge for disorderly conduct was converted to a civil infraction. This incident cost the city’s insurer $52,500 in a settlement.
A new lawsuit has surfaced in 2020, alleging that Briotta assaulted Debra Horton, a 58 year old woman, in the parking lot of Cooley Dickinson hospital in 2017. Briotta and officer Kenneth Kirchner chased Horton from the parking lot of the facility and into the woods where Briotta purportedly “chased her, grabbed onto her right wrist, and [she] yelled out in pain.” According to the suit, Briotta then arrested her and brought her back to his cruiser. After asking Briotta to loosen her handcuffs, Briotta allegedly assaulted her, which the lawsuit says resulted in “injuries to her shoulder, back, face, head, wrist, and other body parts as well as emotional distress, pain and suffering and property damage.”
NPD Misconduct Trading Cards are produced in partnership with the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.