Video MBTA tried to hide from us shows transit police officer beating our client 

MBTA surveillance video we obtained through a public records suit shows MBTA Transit Police Officer Sean Conway assaulting a man immediately after pulling him from the edge of the Red Line track at Park Street Station last May. Last year the MBTA released a portion of the video showing the apparent rescue but stopped the video just before the officer punched the man, Anthony Ferrier. The MBTA denied a public records request for the full video, which it released only after we sued them in Superior Court under Public Records Law.

In a news conference on the day of the incident, May 7, 2014, Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan called the actions of Officer Conway “tremendous” and said the agency was “very proud of him.” The MBTA posted the edited video on its blog and to other social media, and it was shown in local and national news stories.

The complete video shows the officer in a different light. Just after yanking Mr. Ferrier from the edge of the track, Officer Conway threw him to the ground and attempted to handcuff him. When he had difficulty turning Mr. Ferrier onto his stomach, Officer Conway began punching him with his fist. The video shows numerous punches; some blows were to Mr. Ferrier’s head. Officer Conway also kneed Mr. Ferrier. Mr. Ferrier suffered multiple facial fractures as a result of the beating. Watch the video of the incident here:


Soon after the incident, attorney David Milton sent the MBTA a public records request for all footage of the incident. The MBTA denied our request, claiming that the unreleased portions of the video were exempt under the public records law, and that its release would reveal confidential law enforcement techniques as well as the MBTA’s internal deliberations.

When the MBTA refused to reconsider its position, we sued the MBTA under the public records law in October 2014. The MBTA delayed responding to the lawsuit for several months, eventually hiring the international law firm Seyfarth Shaw to defend the case. The MBTA eventually agreed to provide the complete video, but the agency continues to insist that the full video is not a public record.

David Milton states, “Government agencies cannot disclose only records that they believe reflect positively on the agency. The MBTA’s attempt to mislead the public by refusing to provide the complete video shows the need for a strong public records law. Agencies now suffer no penalty when they violate the law. Under our current law we had to file a lawsuit and wait nearly a year to force the agency to provide records that should have been available to the public on request.”

Officer Conway claimed Mr. Ferrier thanked him but Mr. Ferrier says he did not. Mr. Ferrier says, “The complete video shows the truth about what happened; the police officer brutally beat me.”

Watch the report by 5 Investigates: 5 Investigates: The video MBTA Transit Police didn't want you to see

Read more about this case at Man saved by Transit police detective claims video shows excessive force


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