WORCESTER – On Tuesday, Feb. 19, a federal jury found Sgt. Stephen Roche of the Worcester Police Gang Unit “not responsible” of using excessive force against a former cab driver during a 2014 drug raid.

“Sgt. Roche has had a long, impressive career with the Worcester Police Department Gang Unit,” said Police Chief Steven Sargent. “His dedication to the youth of the community has led to generations of young people developing positive relationships with the police. I worked with him for many years, and his integrity and professionalism are beyond reproach. I would like to thank Wendy Quinn and Kevin Gould for their impressive work on this case.”

Attorney Hector Pineiro had filed the lawsuit in Federal court on behalf of Jose Ortiz, who accused Sgt. Roche of using excessive force.

Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus said, “The decision by the jury confirms our belief that the Worcester Police Department is a professional, well-trained department. I have confidence in our officers’ ability to exercise restraint even when involved in tense, dangerous situations.”

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  • Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Over the past two years, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Previous to that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He is the owner of Sargent Media, LLC and can be contacted at [email protected] or 774-232-1223.