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Chief Tells 3 Cops Their Work-Related PTSD Makes Them Ineligible To Have Guns

Hopkinton Police Officer Linda Higgins, Officer Peter Booth, and Officer John Moran are suing the city and police chief.

Hopkinton, MA – Three Hopkinton police officers on medical leave have filed a lawsuit accusing the city’s police chief of suspending their gun licenses in retaliation for their involvement in a collective bargaining process.

Hopkinton Police Officer Linda Higgins, Officer Peter Booth, and Officer John Moran were “injured on duty” on July 24, 2017, but the nature of their injuries have not been released, The Metro West Daily News reported.

According to court documents, the three officers, who have been on medical leave since the 2017 incident, filed a grievance for proper injury pay on Dec. 12, 2018.

Forty-eight hours later, Hopkinton Police Chief Edward Lee suspended their licenses to carry firearms.

“You are no longer deemed suitable as a result of post-traumatic stress related to injuries incurred while on duty,” Chief Lee wrote in a letter to each of the officers. “This is supported by medical reports.”

They were ordered to relinquish all firearms, licenses, and ammunition to their local law enforcement agency.

Attorney Kathleen Reagan filed appeals on the officers’ behalf in February.

The lawsuit accused Chief Lee of violating their right to bear arms, as well as their right to participate in a grievance process.

“Regardless of the merits of [state law] pay status or the resolution of collective bargaining processes, each individual’s right to bear arms and to engage in the rights secured under collective bargaining should not be pawns used in suspensions,” Reagan said, according to The Metro West Daily News.

“The [firearm license suspensions] were without reasonable grounds, and the decision to deny by the defendant was arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion…and constitutes a discrimination based on the fact that [their] duty-related [injuries] which is cited for the reason of suspension, occurred over a year and a half ago,” she added.

City officials and the police union president refused to comment on the pending litigation, The Metro West Daily News reported.

A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled to take place in Framingham District Court on April 23.

The officers’ attorney and police chief each declined to comment further at this time.

Holly Matkin - April Thu, 2019


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