Former W. Springfield police capt. speaks out - CBS 5 - KPHO

Former W. Springfield police capt. speaks out before town council, public

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Former West Springfield police Capt. Daniel O'Brien wrapped up a presentation to the town council and public amidst a standing ovation and a hug from his wife Monday night.

O'Brien was fired by the mayor last week for allegedly restraining a woman to a chair and taping her mouth shut after an incident at the Big E nearly two years ago. 

The former police captain said he never got a fair shot at defending himself.

"Tonight was what I've been waiting for, I'm so grateful the council allowed me time to speak, to call the witnesses I would've called," he said after the presentation. 

O'Brien says the investigation into the accusations of alleged misconduct weren't fair.

A crowd of supporters spilled out into the hallways as he called several witnesses, former members of the West Side police department to defend him and his tactics.

"I just want people to know that there is a whole other side to this story. That's what I'll be doing in arbitration being able to call witnesses and cross-examine people," O'Brien said. 

But not everyone came to support O'Brien.

A small group of women stood outside the town hall with posters, saying, "What if this was your sister?"

"My message is don't treat people inhumanely, don't judge people," said Mary Whittemore, of West Springfield. 

O'Brien defended the use of the restraint in his presentation, saying the department has inadequate resources for people they consider out of control. When asked if he regretted his actions, O'Brien said he did the best he could.

"You have to make decisions, you do the best you can do with the situation and I made decisions with the best interest of everybody," he said. 

Mayor Greg Neffinger did send out a statement defending the firing of O'Brien, part of which said, "Captain O'Brien's actions in regards to the treatment of this woman in the chair are shocking and are something I could not condone."

O'Brien is now due a civil service hearing.

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