Lowell police lieutenant involved in cell death was recommended for termination but receives 90 day suspension

Lowell police lieutenant Thomas Siopes, one of the five officers involved in the death of Alyssa Brame, settled with the city of Lowell for a 90 day suspension and a 9 month loss of rank. In January 2013, Siopes and other officers carried Alyssa into a cell while she was unconscious due to severe intoxication. The officers left her in the cell without checking on her condition or providing medical treatment. Alyssa died of alcohol poisoning while in police custody.

Following an internal investigation that concluded earlier this year, Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor called the incident “inexcusable” and promised “historic discipline” against the officers involved. Taylor recommended termination for Siopes. The internal investigation cited Siopes for failing to know and follow booking procedures, failing to call for medical help, leaving his post without proper relief, and violating other department regulations. During an interview, Siopes stated that even in retrospect, he would not have done anything differently. He stated he was not aware that it was against department policy to put an unconscious person in a cell.

Siopes is the last of the five officers to settle with the city for his punishment. All five officers received discipline that was drastically reduced from Taylor’s initial recommendations.

Our firm represents Alyssa’s mother, Alice Swiridowsky-Muckle, who is upset at the department’s failure to follow through on the promise of meaningful discipline. A possibility of discipline remains, however; the Lowell Sun reports that the FBI is investigating the incident.

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