Press Release 4/6/23
UMASS Boston – Local 190
Following the November 1st, 2022 arrest of a University of Massachusetts student amid allegations of excessive use of force and biased policing, University of Massachusetts police officers Spencer Hotz and Jeffrey Skinner have been exonerated of all charges made against them. University Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy issued a written statement on November 2nd to the entire University community indicating that complaints made to his office alleged that officers involved in the arrest used excessive force and that bias may have played a role in the arrest. The following week Subbaswamy issued a second statement stating that the matter had become the subject of an investigation into the officer’s conduct and that the private firm Margolis Healy would be contracted by the University to complete the investigation.
After a three- and one-half month investigation costing untold amounts of public funds, the officers under investigation were informed on February 17th that they had been exonerated of all charges. It should be noted that several of the complainants were not present at the time that the incident occurred and that the subject that had been arrested never filed a complaint alleging wrongdoing by officers Hotz and Skinner.
Based on the allegations that the arrest involved excessive use of force and bias, the complaint was reported to the Commonwealth’s newly formed POST Commission as required by that agency, prior to an investigation being completed. Further, the Chancellor’s public statements alleging wrongdoing by members of the Flagship’s Accredited Police Department have irreparably damaged the reputations of these two officers with the nearly 40,000-member University community to include graduate/ undergraduate students and University employees.
Officer David Ortiz the President of the New England Police Benevolent Association Local 190 representing patrol level officers of UMPD requested that Chancellor Subbaswamy issue a follow up statement to the community that the investigation had been concluded and that no wrongdoing was determined to have occurred on the part of the officers involved. However, as of press time, the Chancellor and the University have yet to inform the community of the results of the investigation.