Fall River police officer indicted on several charges concerning abuse of authority
A 40-year-old Fall River Police officer was indicted this morning by a Bristol County Grand Jury on various charges related to the abuse of his authority as a law enforcement officer.
According to Gregg Miliote of the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Michael Pessoa, a 17-year veteran of the Fall River Police Department, was indicted on the following charges: One count of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery, four counts of civil rights violation with bodily injury, three counts of intimidation of a witness (misleading), three counts of filing a false report by a public officer and one count of malicious destruction of property.
The matter was referred to the DA by the Fall River Police Department in March of this year and has been under investigation since that time. Investigators from the district attorney’s office worked together with the Fall River Police Department throughout the investigation.
Officer Pessoa is accused of using excessive and unnecessary force in four separate incidents. The incidents occurred in 2014, 2018 and twice in 2019. He is also accused of violating the civil rights of arrestees and filing false police reports. The victims in at least three of the four cases received injuries that required trips to the hospital.
The investigation has been led and the case will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney William McCauley and Assistant District Attorney Michael Cahillane.
As the defendant has yet to be arraigned in open court, no further facts of the case can be disseminated at this time.
The defendant is likely to be arraigned on the indictments early this afternoon in Fall River Superior Court.
According to FRPD, Pessoa has been suspended without pay pending the litigation of the charges against him.