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Lawsuit against former Bristol County Immigrant Detention Center states those detained should have been released



Photo courtesy of Josh Souza

Dartmouth – Sixteen previously detained immigrants in the Bristol County House of Correction Immigrant Detention Center filed suit against Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, individually and collectively with Supt. Steven Souza, Todd Lyons, DHS, ICE and unnamed correctional officers, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

The complaint alleges violations of the fifth amendment right to due process, unlawful punishment, Freedom from Cruel treatment and conditions of confinement, use of excessive force, violation of the Rehabilitation Act, violation of the American with disabilities Act, negligent maintenance, assault and battery, and negligent medical care.

BCSO ICE lawsuit 1

The lawsuit alleges that those involved refused to take meaningful steps to ensure the safety of those detained during the pandemic, to engage in testing protocols, and to release those detained, including Plaintiffs, from the facility. It also alleges that Plaintiffs suffered emotionally and physically from their prolonged confinement and the risk such confinement subjected them to.

BCSO ICE lawsuit 2

The defendants seek an award of compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy had found, in a 2020 investigation, that Hodgson and his staff used “excessive force in their response to a disturbance among some immigration detainees, employing a variety of weapons, including a flash bang grenade, pepper spray and pepper-balls, anti-riot shields and canines.” (WBUR 12/15/20). The detention center was subsequently closed by the Biden administration.

We contacted the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office after the 2020 investigation, and they issued the following statement.

“Shame on Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey for demonizing the corrections and law enforcement professionals at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office with her latest politically motivated stunt.”

“The report released Tuesday on her office’s investigation into the May 1 incident at the C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detection Center in Dartmouth is littered with baseless allegations and assumptions and was clearly written and released to advance her long-documented anti-ICE, pro-illegal immigrant political agenda. Why would the AG’s staff interview community advocates but not ask Sheriff Hodgson a single question?”

“The corrections teams at the BCSO risked their lives to quell a violent altercation with criminal illegal aliens on May 1 and did so with the upmost professionalism. We stand by the response to the incident and look forward to the results of the truly independent investigation currently being worked on by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General.”



  1. david

    July 26, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Maura Healy is a criminal that should be locked up in the Bristol County Jail. Healy actually celebrated that cities were burning during BLM summer. Healy fronts the agenda of the insurrectionist leftist groups that are that are now running amok through the nation and its once great institutions.

    • Antifa

      July 26, 2022 at 5:50 pm

      No cities were burning. Just keep on repeating that lie over and over and over again like a good Nazi you are. Just blow it all out of proportion like your side does when it’s blacks protesting. But when whites attack the capital in an insurrection trying to overturn a democratically held election I’m sure you’re okay with that. That’s pure fascism. Is that what you support? Fascism? Racism and hatred too! Don’t agree with our Constitution leave asshole. Too bad you’re too stupid to understand you’re stupid. It’s called Dunning-Kruger.

      So to you black lives don’t matter? It’s all right for racist cops to slaughter African Americans? Look at yourself idiot You’re the problem.

      We also need more immigrant workers, not less. The workers shortages are causing inflation because of higher wages. I’m sure you blame the president but he can’t fix it because this country’s too stupid to do the right thing and you’re part of the problem.

      • Jake Perry

        July 26, 2022 at 7:46 pm

        It makes me smile to see you so upset.

  2. Betty Ussach

    July 26, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    “Show us the tape Sheriff Hodgson”
    In a Boston Globe editorial on May 7, 2020 Sheriff Hodgson was challenged to release the tape, he claimed to have made, of the melee that had occurred at the Bristol County Immigration Detention Center on May 1, 2020.
    Hodgson publicly boasted that he taped the event and it would reveal that he was justified in the attack upon the detainees housed at the facility under his supervision. But he has never released this tape, nor brought criminal complaints against these detainees.
    However, Hodgson will undoubtedly now be compelled to do so, if it still exists, as evidence in a recently filed complaint brought against him by sixteen detainees who allege that they were physically and mentally injured by the Sheriff, and others, during and after the events of May 1st.
    On April 29, 2022 these detainees filed suit against Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, individually and collectively,as well as Supt. Steven Souza, Todd Lyons, DHS, ICE and unnamed correctional officers, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.(Morocho v. Bristol County Sheriff’s Office).
    The complaint alleges violations of their fifth amendment right to due process, unlawful punishment, freedom from cruel treatment and conditions of confinement, use of excessive force, violation of the Rehabilitation Act, violation of the American with disabilities Act, negligent maintenance, assault and battery, and negligent medical care.
    The 82 page complaint contains graphic descriptions of the alleged injuries and violations of each of the plaintiffs and they seek an award of compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorneys fees.
    This complaint comes as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with Attorney General Maura Healey’s extensive investigative report condemning the sheriff for alleged constitutional violations and injuries to these plaintiffs.
    What is newly disclosed is the alleged punitive and horrific treatment of these detainees after May I, 2020, with resultant severe and enduring physical and mental suffering that continues two years after their ordeal.
    If previous law suits, which caused enormous payouts to attorneys representing Thomas Hodgson, and for damages and fees awarded to the plaintiffs and their lawyers,are any indication, this promises to be one of the most expensive cases ever involving the sheriff. And unfortunately that may effect taxpayers once again.
    A case involving sixteen plaintiffs will undoubtedly take weeks, if not months to be heard by the court. The discovery process, prior to trial, will require a vast amount of attorney involvement at great expense. There is no way to estimate the ultimate cost but it will probably surpass the awards paid out to the plaintiffs, and their attorney, when several employees sued the sheriff years ago and the court found in their favor.
    This trial however will afford the public the opportunity to see the tapes and to hear direct testimony from the detainees, who will finally have their chance to describe what happened,with specificity,
    and in a public forum.
    If a sheriff can’t control his seemingly vindictive behavior and it impacts on his ability to perform his duties, causes harm to others, and the cost of his accountability falls upon taxpayers, there is a remedy in November when the voters in Bristol County should elect a new sheriff.

    Betty Ussach, Dartmouth

  3. SheriffJohnBrown

    July 26, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    So cute all the bleeding hearts 💕!

    • Ken Masson

      July 27, 2022 at 7:35 am

      No just intelligent and not ignorant like you. There’s a proven better way. Unfortunately when ignorant people are afraid of change the worst things go on and on. I bet you would be okay if we still had slavery too. So are you proud that Bristol county has the worst recidivism rate in the state? This latest lawsuit should cost us a fortune. You okay with that? Are you okay that he violated their constitutional rights? Are you such a hater that you’re okay that he violated their constitutional rights? Thank God the ignorant like you are the minority in this state.

      • MortisMaximus

        July 27, 2022 at 1:42 pm

        Rights granted to U.S. citizens on U.S. soil should not be granted to those looking to undermine the Republic. Pledge your Allegiance to the Republic or leave it! Habeas Corpus while a human right is not recognized by Militant Regimes especially during war time. Militant Regimes are always on a war footing, thus no Habeas Corpus for anyone. Every individual case against an illegal immigrant should be measured on the facts of if this person is a threat to the Republic first. Abraham Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus during the Civil War, denying God Given Rights to Constitutionally protected individuals because he believed they were a threat to the Republic. Bleeding hearts driven by weak human emotion will lead to the destruction of the Republic. We are a country of laws. Without these laws being upheld we are chaos. Don’t worry about it though because this guy believes in men and not God! My Rights were granted to me by God not flawed atheists like the lunatic Ken Messianic.

  4. Antifa

    July 28, 2022 at 9:01 am

    So did you support Trump’s insurrection?
    So you a worse than any illegal alien. They didn’t attack our capital and our government. Fascist trumpublicans like you did.

    If you and your family was starving and repressed wouldn’t you want to try to get your family to a safer more prosperous place?

    I think you’re afraid of them like the chicken shit fascist you are MaronMaximus.

    This definition sounds just like a Trumpublican!

    Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement,[1][2] characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the good of the nation, and strong regimentation of society and the economy[2][3] that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.[4][5] The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before spreading to other European countries, such as Germany.[4] Fascism also had adherents outside of Europe.[2] Opposed to anarchism, democracy, liberalism, and Marxism,[6] fascism is placed on the far-right wing within the traditional left–right spectrum.[4][7]

    • MortisMaximus

      July 28, 2022 at 9:53 am

      Same psychotic rant different day! Ken Messianic has arrived to save the human race from Fascism. Russia, Russia, Russia. The real fascists are Antifa and the Progressive Socialist Liberals. If you disagree with the Antifa philosophy you are racist, homophobic, zenophobic and a fascist. This guy proudly posts under the moniker of Antifa. I would bet my life that if there was a battle for the Republic Ken Massonic would join the real fascists like the squad, the Demonrat party, the corrupted FBI and CIA and the deeply corrupt Administrative State. Americans suffered a real insurrection and coup on Nov.3 2020 as the election was stolen for the communist regime under the “leadership”
      of JoeBama. Meanwhile the bagman for the Biden family the great crackhead Hunter is accepting bribe money from America’s enemies while returning a 10% cut to the Big Guy Joe for influence over America’s foreign policy. As America is sold out by the Bidens, the Clinton’s, the Bush family and many others, Americans are suffering while these families are pillaging from our blood sweat and tears. Ken Messianic and his faux outrage against real conservatism are nothing but a smoke screen for the rape and pillaging of America. I fly the American flag proudly 🇺🇲 and will stand by it, while Ken Messianic is embarrassed by America and her flag. Long live the Republic. Sic Semper Tyrannis! BTW Ken Wikipedia is not a valid source of the Truth, it is a cesspool of disinformation for idiots like you…

      • Antifa

        July 29, 2022 at 7:41 am

        Wow horrible job deflecting. I guess that definition but fascism was way over your vocabulary and reading comprehension skills.

        Me thanks You’re a narcissist just like Trump. Let’s twist it all around and make the other side look like the fascist. Let’s lie over and over again until it becomes a truth like a fascist. MoronMaximus, you’re a fascist! If you don’t agree with our government and constitution you have the choice to leave. Here in Massachusetts we believe in social democracy. Not socialism, not communism but a capitalist system where the people truly elect their leaders and actually get something in return for your tax money. A system where politicians can’t be bought like they are now. Some of the happiest countries in the world but since you’re so freaking ignorant you wouldn’t know anything about that. You only know what you been and indoctrinated with. If only you can learn to think for yourself. Ever hear of critical thinking because it’s obvious you don’t use it.

        But just keep on repeating those lies over and over and over and over and over again until it becomes a truth. That’s what Trump did. That’s what Muslimi did. That’s what Putin does. And your weak little mind gets sucked right into the bullshit. That’s how fascism works and yes it is an extreme right wing ideology.

        PS, you are an extreme minority in Massachusetts! One of the greatest states in the Union. One of the most prosperous in the union. One of the best educated in the union. You seem to prefer a poor ass state like Kentucky where education sucks, healthcare sucks and the majority of the population is poor taking handouts from the government. Is that what you want? Go there! Have a good day fool.

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