Community activists in Springfield Massachusetts say a 25 year old Middletown Connecticut man who went on trial Monday for assaulting police is actually a victim of police brutality.
Ellen Graves and other members of a group called the Community Coaltion for Justice rallied outside the courthouse in defense of Michael Ververis who is facing felony charges stemming from a disturbance more than 2 years ago at closing time in the city’s entertainment district.
Police say they had to forcibly subdue Ververis after he tried to grab an officer’s gun. After a pre-trial hearing last year, a judge criticized Springfield police for seizing a cellphone that a witness used to record the arrest, but refused to throw out the charges. The attorney for Ververis claimed police erased exculpatory evidence that was on the phone.