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Somerville officer gets probation for pepper-spraying handcuffed prisoner who was not resisting

McGrath was placed on probation for one year with the condition that he not seek employment as a police officer.

Former President of the Somerville Police Employees' Association Michael McGrath speaks at a rally protesting the "Black Lives Matter" banner on Somerville City Hall in July 2016. Ryan Breslin / Boston.com

A former Somerville police officer admitted this week to using pepper spray on a handcuffed prisoner who posed no threat to him in 2019.

On Wednesday, Michael McGrath owned up to sufficient facts in Cambridge District Court to the charge of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

Judge David Frank continued the matter without a finding and placed McGrath on probation for one year with the condition that he not seek employment as a police officer, the Middlesex District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

The charge stems from an Oct. 1, 2019 incident in Somerville during which McGrath deployed his CapStun pepper spray into the face of someone in custody, who did not physically resist or engage in any behavior that would justify the use of the weapon, the district attorney’s office said.

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