Bristol Sheriff: AG Report On May Incident With ICE Detainees Is Baseless

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson responded Wednesday to a report from Attorney General Maura Healey that said his office violated the civil rights of ICE detainees during an incident back in May.

Sheriff Hodgson said the report was baseless and tries to paint a narrative that is not true. He said that it was politically motivated.

“She writes these outrageous, sort of, reports as a way to try to get notoriety for whatever her political aspirations are,” Hodgson said.

On May 1, 10 detainees held in the Bristol County House of Correction’s Ice Facility B refused to consent to taking a COVID-19 test. The situation turned violent when Sheriff Hodgson and Sheriff’s Deputies tried to get the detainees to comply, sparking a riot.

Healey criticized the Sheriff’s Office in the report, saying their use of force "was disproportionate to the security needs at that time and that unnecessarily caused, or risked causing, harm to all involved," and that it included "the use of a variety of less-lethal but dangerous weapons — including a flash bang grenade, pepper-ball launchers, pepper spray canisters, anti-riot shields, and canines — against detainees who had exhibited calm and nonviolent behavior for at least an hour before this operation."

The attorney general recommended that the Sherriff’s Office terminate its contract with ICE. Hodgson said “that won’t happen,” but that he plans to release a video recording of the May incident soon.

WBZ NewsRadio's Tim Dunn (@ConsiderMeDunn) reports

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(Photo: Tim Dunn/WBZ NewsRadio)

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