Norfolk County

25 Investigates: Exclusive video shows Mass. court officers forcibly subduing handcuffed teen in leg

QUINCY, Mass. — Security camera footage from inside a holding cell shows two court officers in Quincy District Court using force to subdue a teenage boy.

The video, obtained through a public records request, offers a look into what happened in the basement of the courthouse.

As 25 Investigates first reported last month, the officers were suspended after a complaint was filed with the Department of Children and Families (DCF). The Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office also opened a criminal investigation into the matter.

On Thursday, the Norfolk DA’s office released the video to investigative reporter Ted Daniel, adding that their investigation had been completed.

The office determined the court officers acted lawfully when they forcibly pinned down the teenager and one pulled on his leg irons.

The video, which does not include audio, shows Assistant Chief Court Officer Brianne Queeney leading the teenager into the cell and placing him against the wall. The teen is blurred in the video because he is a minor. But he can be observed in handcuffs and shackled at the ankles.

25 Investigates also obtained the state police report from the incident. In it, several court officers describe the teen as “uncooperative” and verbally abusive.

The video shows Assistant Chief John Cahill entering before both court officers push the teen onto a bench. They struggle to gain control of him and the situation escalates. Both Queeney and Cahill pin the teen to a bench.

Witnesses interviewed by state police questioned why the officers did not walk out and lock the door.

One told investigators, “in my 17 ½ year career, I cannot recall any altercation with an inmate who was handcuffed and had leg irons on in a cell”

Officer Cahill told investigators he only used “enough force to stabilize him.”

A minute into the video, Queeney is seen grabbing the teen’s legs irons – pushing the boys leg down while lifting the restraints up.

Witnesses say the teen was screaming in pain.

Queeney told state police investigators she was trying to “hold his legs so that nobody would be injured.”

As the struggle continues, Queeney is seen grabbing the leg irons again before she and Cahill are asked to leave the cell and another officer restores calms.

The report says Queeney was upset that she was asked to leave the cell and she left work early that day.

An investigation by DCF supported allegations of physical abuse and neglect against Queeney and Cahill.

The Office of the Trial Court is also investigating the incident. That probe is ongoing.

A lawyer for Cahill previously told 25 Investigates that the DCF investigation was flawed and Cahill acted appropriately throughout.  Queeney has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

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