ACLU sues Sheriff’s Office for information on violent incident

May 20, 2020

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is suing the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office for information about a violent incident that occurred at the office’s Fauce Corner Road immigration detention facility on May 1.

According to an ACLU press release on May 18, the organization had previously sent a public records request seeking audiovisual recordings, documents, and other records concerning the incident.

Included in the public records request are communications between the Sheriff’s Office and any federal department or agency, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Executive Office of the President, concerning the incident.

The May 1 disturbance involved an encounter between Sheriff’s Office personnel and immigration detainees that escalated to physical violence, resulting in the hospitalization of three detainees and $25,000 worth of damage to the facility.

Conflicting reports have emerged about what started the incident, prompting multiple investigations and calls to release video footage from government officials and agencies. 

The new lawsuit was filed by the ACLU with law firm Foley Hoag LLP under Massachusetts’ public records law after the BCSO issued a blanket denial of the ACLU request, according to the press release.