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In Memoriam: Perman Glenn III

Comments (7)
Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Valley lost a fierce advocate for civil rights last week with the death of Springfield attorney Perman Glenn III.

The 50-year-old Glenn—who died in an apparent accident while vacationing in the Dominican Republic—was a defense attorney perhaps best known for his work on a number of high-profile police misconduct cases. They included the case of Douglas Greer, a Springfield school principal who filed a complaint alleging that he was roughed up in 2004 by city cops who found him in the midst of a medical seizure and apparently thought he was on drugs, and Louis Jiles, an 18-year-old Springfield man who was shot by city police during a traffic stop in 2008.

Greer eventually won a $180,000 settlement from the Mass. Commission Against Discrimination. The Jiles case was settled last year, with the city paying an undisclosed amount of money to Jiles but admitting no wrongdoing or liability by the city or the officers involved.

Glenn not only handled individual cases of alleged police brutality; he was also an outspoken critic of the handling of such cases by city officials, and repeatedly called for the city of Springfield to establish an effective civilian review board, one that didn't rely on internal SPD investigations and that had the power to punish officers found guilty of misconduct. "The issue is that the city of Springfield is turning a blind eye to what the police are doing," Glenn told the Advocate a couple of years ago. "When you have that kind of indifference, that could amount to a civil rights violation."

While Glenn's criticisms of the police department and City Hall didn't especially endear him to many in Springfield's establishment, he had plenty of admirers among the city's legal and activist communities. In a Springfield Republican article reporting his death, one city cop who bumped heads with Glenn on a regular basis offered words of respect and condolence. "He always had a smile on his face, always went out of his way to shake my hand," SPD spokesman Sgt. John Delaney told the newspaper. "He respected that I had a job to do, and I respected that he did."

Glenn lived in Northampton and is survived by his wife and four children.

Comments (7)
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Perman was a brilliant lawyer and an excellent human bening. I will miss him along with many other. He was a friend of mine. My words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel. All I can say from my Indian Spiritual mind that a life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.


Posted by Tom B on 1.20.11 at 8:03

Mr. Perman was a great man and a terrific lawyer. he always had a smile and was willing to hear and help you with anything he can. i know first hand. i will miss him and good luck to his family and associates.

Posted by Greg on 1.20.11 at 20:17

I don't believe this was an accident, but more of a sluther to keep him quiet about up coming problems with the Spfld police department. may God bless the family and may Mr. Perman Glenn lll rest in peace finally.

Posted by Ann Jones on 1.20.11 at 21:24

It was an accident, Ann.

Posted by Bill Dusty on 1.22.11 at 7:39

I didn't know Perman Glenn all that well. We just shared some childhood memories. I remember how we used to sit on the sandy banks of this little pond fishing for pumkinseed and bullhead that were in there amongst the old tires and shopping carts. We would make up fish stories loaded with cuss words. We spent alot of time in the woods climbing trees, making forts and sitting around camp fires. His mom would make us pick the sticks out our hair and wash the pine pitch off our faces. I never got over her Georgia accent.

Alot of people didn't want or think Perman could succeed as a lawyer. He had his brushes with the law and that stutter. No one wanted to sponsor him for the Bar exam. I only knew him as being confident. I had never saw him lose a fight or let anybody get the upper hand. He proved people wrong. I didn't always agree with him but we both share the same disgust authorities abusing thier position.

I'm glad you went first brother. I'll be needing your council come judgement day.

R.I.P. Tom Farrington

Posted by Tom Farrington on 1.26.11 at 13:22

LET'S GET REAL.. "sOUNDS liKE mURDER"Alone on his 50th birthday?without family?Sounds like a lil affair of a bad sort going on,,no investigation?

Posted by questionable on 1.29.11 at 10:04

If this so called "accident" happened on American soil it would be investigated.Does this seem a lil sketchy to anyone?..please post

Posted by iNVESTIGATE THIS CRIME on 1.29.11 at 10:09
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