Suffolk DA, Transit Police Chief Charge Officer and Two Supervisors in
Beating, Civil Rights Violation, and Cover-up
BOSTON, March 6, 2019—Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins and MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green today announced indictments against a former police officer who allegedly beat a homeless man and two sergeants accused of assisting him in covering up the excessive and unlawful use of force.
“The conduct alleged in these indictments is unacceptable at every level,” District Attorney Rollins said. “The charges reflect an unprovoked armed assault by a uniformed officer on a vulnerable member of our community, followed by a joint venture with supervising officers to cover up that crime. Actions like these undermine the hard work of countless honest, professional police officers and seriously erode trust in law enforcement. Crimes against public integrity are some of the most important that my office can bring on behalf of victims and our community, and I take them extremely seriously.”
“Words cannot express the extreme disappointment I have in the officers who violated the victim and the public’s trust in such an egregious manner,” Chief Green said. “However I refuse to allow the corrupt actions of these individuals to tarnish the vast majority of the men and women of the Transit Police who day in and day out wear their badges and perform their duties with honor and integrity.”
Based on a lengthy investigation by Transit Police detectives and Suffolk County prosecutors, the Suffolk County Grand Jury today returned indictments charging former Transit Police Officer DORSTON BARTLETT, 65, of Lynn with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and violating a person’s civil rights for allegedly using his baton to strike a 32-year-old homeless man multiple times at Ashmont station in the early morning hours of July 27, 2018.
The indictments also charge Bartlett with misleading a police officer for allegedly giving false statements to two Boston Police officers who later responded to the scene, as well as assault and battery for allegedly grabbing and pushing the victim during the booking process that followed his arrest.
The Suffolk County Grand Jury returned additional indictments charging Bartlett, Sergeant DAVID FINNERTY, 43, of Rutland and Sergeant KENNY ORCEL, 55, of Chelmsford with making a false report as a public officer or employee, and additionally indicted Finnerty and Orcel as accessories after the fact to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. These charges stem from the alleged collusion among all three to create a false incident report on Bartlett’s encounter with the victim in the hours following the assault.
At the time of the offenses, Finnerty was the shift officer in charge and Orcel was the shift patrol supervisor; both were placed on leave – and Bartlett retired – last year in the course of the investigation.
The evidence suggests that Bartlett arrested the victim after the assault and attempted to charge him with assault and battery on a police officer. In support of that charge, Finnerty allegedly drafted a report that was submitted by Bartlett and ultimately approved by Orcel. Later the same morning, a member of the Transit Police command staff learned of Bartlett’s use of force and reviewed both a preliminary draft of that report and video from public safety cameras at Ashmont station. Based on his observations, he ordered the victim released from custody, charges did not issue, and the criminal investigation was launched.
Myriah Young is the DA’s victim-witness advocate assigned to the case. Bartlett, Finnerty, and Orcel are expected to appear for arraignment on March 27.
Media inquiries should be directed to Superintendent Richard Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org