BOSTON (AP) - A Boston police sergeant has been
demoted to patrol officer after an internal
investigation found that he used excessive force when
he chased and beat a teen-ager he believed gestured
obscenely in his direction.
Boston Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans also
suspended Joseph A. Lemoure for a year without pay.
Lemoure, whose punishment was outlined in a March 29
order from Evans, is appealing to the state Civil
"We believe it's unprecedented," said Boston police
spokeswoman Mariellen Burns. "The commissioner has
been tough on discipline and this case is no
different. The actions that were taken in this case
were done because of the egregious nature of what took
Howard Friedman, a Boston attorney who has twice
sued on behalf of clients who said they were
brutalized by Lemoure, called Evans' actions "a
In 1992, Friedman sued the Boston Police Department
on behalf of Andre Alves, who alleged that Lemoure
punched and kicked him. The civil rights case was
settled, according to federal court records. Lemoure
was promoted to sergeant after he was sued by
Friedman used the St. Clair Commission report,
issued that year, as the basis of the suit. Attorney
James St. Clair, who led the commission, found massive
failures in how the department handled civilian
complaints against officers.
Friedman's new client, Peter Fratus, claims that
Lemoure wrongly accused Fratus of making an obscene
gesture as Fratus drove past the East Boston police
station around 2 a.m. on June 24, 2000.
Lemoure, who was the duty supervisor in charge of
the entire shift of uniformed officers, got into a
cruiser and pursued the car, according to the lawsuit
and Boston Police.
He pulled Fratus out of the car and threw him to
the ground, asking him, "Who's the tough guy now?"
according to Fratus. Evans's order said Lemoure
"kicked and punched the male in the head area, causing
injury to his jaw."
Fratus denies gesturing at Lemoure. Even if he had,
Lemoure overreacted, Friedman said.
In the order, Evans faulted Lemoure for failing to
notify operations he was pursuing a car; failing to
notify the department he had pulled over a vehicle;
mishandling his responsibilities as a duty supervisor;
and violating the department's policy on use of
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Mary Jo Harris, Evans's legal adviser, said the
department has not referred the Lemoure case to
federal or state prosecutors for criminal charges.