Civil Service Commission Upholds Dismissal of Somerville Police Officer Marcos Freitas for Lying

On June 28, 2012, the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission upheld the dismissal of Somerville Police Officer Marcos Freitas, determining that he was rightfully terminated from his position as a police officer for untruthfulness and conduct unbecoming a police officer. The Commission found that Freitas lied repeatedly and refused to admit that he lied. Among the lies was false testimony given at a deposition taken by this office in a lawsuit we filed against him.

Freitas’s misconduct first surfaced in August 2008, when he took a polygraph test as part of his application to the police department in Austin, Texas. During the test, he said he sometimes used “creative writing” in his police reports and that on at least two occasions, he confiscated marijuana from a suspect then gave the marijuana to a friend. In September 2008, he agreed to a 15-day suspension for violating department rules.

In February 2010, Attorney David Milton took the deposition—sworn testimony—of Freitas as part of a police brutality lawsuit we filed against him. (A description of this lawsuit is below.) Attorney Milton asked Freitas about one of the marijuana incidents. Contradicting his earlier statements, Freitas said that he did not give the marijuana to his friend, but merely showed it to her then disposed of it.

After Attorney Milton urged the City of Somerville to review Freitas’s contradictory statements, the City initiated an investigation. The investigation concluded that Freitas had lied. He was terminated in March 2010, after being a police officer for eight years. He appealed in August 2011, and his appeal was denied last month by the Civil Service Commission. The decision states, “Unfortunately, it is overwhelming clear … that Mr. Freitas, either in his statements to the Police Captain and Lieutenant or his deposition or in his testimony before the Commission, has made the same type of ‘creative’ statements that he acknowledged making in at least one of his police reports.”

Click here to read the decision of the Civil Service Commission.

The police brutality lawsuit we brought against Freitas was filed in December 2008 on behalf of Gerard Contaldi, who was 15 years old when Freitas used excessive force on him during an arrest. On March 16, 2006, Freitas, who was off-duty and had been drinking, confronted Gerard and several friends about kicking a recycling bin near Freitas’s sports car. Freitas called Gerard an “idiot” and slapped him. Not knowing that Freitas, who was in street clothes, was a police officer, one of Gerard’s friends pushed Freitas to protect Gerard. The boys then ran away. When other Somerville police officers stopped the boys, officer Alan Monaco threw Gerard to the ground and handcuffed him. Monaco threatened, “If you don’t tell me who hit the cop, I’ll break your f-ing arm!” Monaco pressed Gerard’s face in the gravel and twisted it. Gerard tried to raise his head away from the gravel. As he did so, Freitas hit Gerard in the eye with a flashlight. Gerard never resisted arrest or posed any threat to any police officer, and he never knew that Freitas was a police officer. After taking depositions of numerous police officers involved in the incident, and receiving wildly different accounts of what happened, we settled the case in April of 2010.

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