CHICOPEE, Mass (WGGB) — The brutal murder of Amanda Plasse in 2011 broke her mother Michelle Mathieson’s heart, only to be made worse
by news that six Chicopee Police officers snapped and spread cell phone pictures of Amanda’s body.
“The whole thing is sickening, it’s disheartening,” Mathieson said. “I think that morally it was wrong. It was wrong. Legally, that needs to be addressed, legally. Things need to be changed.”
The photos were taken before State Police detectives arrived on scene, but never made it so social media. Mayor Michael Bissonnette said in June that the six officers were reprimanded, but there was no further discipline under the former Police Chief John Ferraro. Bissonnette ordered this case and 41 other internal issues, spanning six years, be re-examined by an outside attorney.
Over 90 days later, the investigation is still 3 to 4 weeks away from being complete.
“The question now is, because of the time that’s passed, is whether or not going forward their involvement in police investigations will be impeded by what they did,” Bissonnette said.
The officers still have not faced further discipline. Meantime, Mathieson plans to work with legislators on creating a new law that would make it illegal for first responders to snap photos of victims or patients.
“That prohibits from this type of thing from happening and protects the innocent like my daughter, who did not have a choice to have a picture of her taken and publicly passed around. It’s a disgrace,” Mathieson said.
Bissonnette says as all the investigations continue and new police Chief Thomas Charette settles in, new policies are in place so the mayor will know if an officer is reprimanded.
“Any of these mistakes from now on are not going to get swept under the rug,” Bissonnette said. “When there is someone that needs to be disciplined, discipline will be issued. If firing has to happen, the termination will occur.”
Both Bissonnette and Mathieson say through all of this heartache, finding whoever killed Amanda is the number one priority.
ABC40 will keep you posted on the status of all 42 internal investigations at Chicopee Police.
If you have any information on the murder of Amanda Plasse, you’re asked to call detectives at (413) 594-1730. There is a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.