A Chelsea police officer has been charged with punching a handcuffed man then lying about it in a police report.
Felix Rivera, 34, of Lynn, has been suspended without pay and is expected to be arraigned on charges of beating a suspect in his custody and lying about the circumstances of his arrest, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley.
Rivera is charged with assault and battery, filing false reports and violating the victim’s civil rights, Conley said.
Prosecutors said Rivera repeatedly punched a handcuffed man in the rear of a house on Chestnut Street on Sept. 26, 2014.
“There is no room in law enforcement for anyone who would beat a handcuffed prisoner or lie in a report,” Conley said in a press release. “The evidence suggests this officer engaged in criminal conduct, not police work."
Rivera's report claimed that the 20-year-old Chelsea man, who was not named, was arrested on assault and battery on an officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
But the victim’s attorney presented prosecutors with a video of the incident, which was filmed by a witness.
Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes called the incident "extremely troubling and concerning."
“A police officer’s credibility and integrity are two of the most important attributes in this challenging profession," Kyes said in a statement. "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."
Chelsea cops responded to 155 Chestnut St. that night for a report of a man with a gun. The victim was at the scene, and appeared drunk, according to police. He was arrested for allegedly interfering with the investigation, Conley said.
But as the handcuffed man 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, Conley said. That officer, who prosecutors did not name, denied the allegation in Rivera’s report that the victim had pushed him while being led from the scene.