American Civil Liberties Union

Settlement Reached for Woman Beaten by MBTA Officers

The woman has settled her civil rights lawsuit for an undisclosed amount of money and requires increased transparency for MBTA policies

A Massachusetts woman who was beaten and pepper-sprayed by two MBTA officers in 2014 has settled a civil rights lawsuit with the organization, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

According to the lawsuit, in March 2014, Mary Holmes, a Boston resident living in the city's Roxbury neighborhood, saw Officer Jennifer Garvey scream and shove another black woman at the Dudley Square station. When Ms. Holmes tried to intervene, Garvey and her partner, Officer Alfred Trinh, pepper-sprayed Holmes, beat her with a metal baton and arrested her.

"I saw something, I said something, and I was beaten and arrested for it," said Holmes.

Holmes, attorney Howard Friedman and the ACLU filed a lawsuit in 2015 against Garvey and Trinh. In 2016, Holmes added the MBTA and one of Garvey's supervisors as defendants.

The amount Holmes was awarded has not been released.

The settlement requires increased oversight of MBTA officers, increased transparency for MBTA policies, and improvements in the citizen complaint system.

"Hopefully, these policy changes will act as a deterrent and help ensure that no one else has to go through what I went through," Holmes said in a statement.

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