A criminal complaint has been filed against a Massachusetts police office after he deployed pepper spray on someone in custody who allegedly did not pose a threat to him last year, according to an investigation by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office and Somerville police.
Somerville Police Officer Michael McGrath is facing a charge of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon for the incident on Oct. 1, 2019, the district attorney's office said.
A spokesperson for the city said hours after the incident, McGrath was put on paid administrative leave.
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"In light of the felony charge, the City converted his status to an unpaid administrative leave," Denise Taylor, director of communications and community engagement for Somerville, said in a statement.
Mayor Joseph Curtatone issued a statement saying neither the city nor the police department "do not and will not tolerate any unnecessary use of force."
McGrath is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 13.