Officer Indicted for Allegedly Beating Handcuffed Suspect, Filing False Report

BOSTON, Aug. 4, 2015—A Chelsea police officer currently suspended without pay was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court today on indictments charging him with repeatedly punching a suspect in his custody and lying in a subsequent report, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes said.

FELIX RIVERA, Jr. (D.O.B. 1/14/81) of Lynn was arraigned today on charges of assault and battery, filing a false police report, and violating the victim’s civil rights. The charges stem from an incident in which Rivera allegedly punched the man while he was handcuffed in the rear of a Chestnut Street residence on the night of Sept. 26, 2014. Suffolk Superior Court Clerk Anne Kaczmarek ordered him to have no contact with the victim while the case is pending.

“There is no room in law enforcement for anyone who would beat a handcuffed prisoner or lie in a report,” Conley said. “The evidence suggests this officer engaged in criminal conduct, not police work. I want to highlight the professionalism of Chief Kyes, his team, and our prosecutors in building this case. They made clear that there is one system of justice for all of us – sworn or civilian.”

“The allegations as charged in the indictment against Officer Felix Rivera are extremely troubling and concerning,” Kyes said. “The Chelsea Police Department has cooperated fully and completely with every facet of this criminal investigation since its inception. A police officer’s credibility and integrity are two of the most important attributes in this challenging profession.  Both operate at the core of our ability to build trust and confidence in our community members so as to effectively police our neighborhoods alongside our residents.  Please rest assured that Officer misconduct in any form including excessive use of force by our personnel will not be tolerated under any set of circumstances.  Beyond that at this point I think it is always in the best interest of the City of Chelsea and the Chelsea Police Department to refrain from making any specific comment(s) regarding any alleged facts and/or circumstances of any and all pending litigation, whether civil, criminal or otherwise, so as not to unintentionally adversely affect the rights of both the plaintiffs and/or the defendants in any case or to otherwise jeopardize the integrity of a fair and impartial judicial process.”

Based on Rivera’s report, the victim – then 20 and a resident of Chelsea – was arraigned in Chelsea District Court on charges of assault and battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. In March of this year, however, the victim’s attorney provided Suffolk prosecutors with a video clip filmed by an unknown witness showing the incident and argued that the charges against the victim were unfounded.

The ensuing investigation by Assistant District Attorney Michele Granda of the DA’s Special Prosecutions Unit and Chelsea Police Internal Affairs detectives developed significant evidence, including the statements of other officers, that corroborated the victim’s claims. As a result, prosecutors terminated the pending case against the victim and began presenting evidence and testimony to the Suffolk County Grand Jury.

The investigation revealed that multiple Chelsea Police units responded to the rear of 155 Chestnut St. that night for a report of a man with a gun. Among those present at the scene was the victim, whom a supervising officer found to be intoxicated and interfering with the investigation. This supervisor directed other officers to place him into protective custody and remove him from the area.

As the handcuffed victim was being escorted away, Rivera allegedly struck him four times in the face, knocking him to the ground. Another officer reached out to stop him. This officer denied the allegation in Rivera’s report that the victim had pushed him while being led from the scene.

Rivera is represented by attorney Keith Nicholson.




All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.