Some Charges Against Melvin Jones dropped: Lawsuit Pending against Springfield Officers for Videotaped Flashlight Beating of Black Man
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni will not pursue two criminal charges filed against Melvin Jones III the night he was allegedly beaten by Springfield Police Officer Jeffrey Asher.
In a statement released to 22News, Mastroianni said that he decided not to prosecute Jones for resisting arrest and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, as a subsequent offender.
Both charges were filed on November 27, 2009. In an incident captured on videotape that night [HERE] , Asher allegedly stomped and beat Jones with a flashlight. Asher has been removed from the police force and criminal charges have been filed against him. He was also called a racial epithet during a traffic stop over a faulty muffler in November 2009. He says that he was beaten unconscious, sustained broken bones and teeth, and was at least partially blinded in one eye. A witness captured the incident on video. Jones was charged with resisting arrest and drug possession.
Jones says that the six cops named in the Massachusetts police brutality complaint tried to cover up the assault on him. One of the police offices, Jeffrey Asher, allegedly struck him with a flashlight at least 15 times. Asher was fired from the job and faces criminal charges. The three other cops that were at the traffic stop, Officers Michael Sedergren, Theodore Truiolo, and Lt. John Bobianski were disciplined. Jones is seeking unspecified monetary damages and fees and wants a jury trial.
“It is my opinion the available evidence does not allow for consistent and credible prosecutions of both defendants related to this incident,” Mastroianni said.
Jones has filed a lawsuit against the City of Springfield, the Springfield Police Department, and Police Commissioner William Fitchet.
Mastroianni’s decision does not affect the prosecution of Jones in other cases. Over the weekend, Jones was arrested following an incident where he allegedly took a woman’s car without her permission following a domestic dispute. In January, Jones was arrested after he allegedly stole more than $700 worth of clothing from the JC Penney Outlet Store at the Eastfield Mall.