Former Fall River police officer found guilty of abusing authority

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) — A former Fall River police officer was found guilty of using excessive and unnecessary force Wednesday.

The accusations against Michael Pessoa came from four separate incidents between 2014 and 2019, three of four victims of which were hospitalized, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said Pessoa was found guilty of assault and battery, intimidation, civil rights violation and filing false police reports.

“It’s certainly a sad day in the department’s history. But I think it’s important to note that the Fall River Police Department investigated this matter internally, leading to his termination,” Fall River Police Chief Paul Gauvin said in a statement.

“Despite the fact that the prosecution has ended, we need to move forward and continue the all-important work of regaining the trust and confidence of this community and restoring the pride, dignity, and honor of the Fall River Police Department,” Gauvin continued.

Pessoa was indicted in 2019 after a joint investigation by Fall River police and the Bristol County DA’s Office. He originally pled not guilty to all charges.

His sentencing is set for June 7.

Categories: Fall River, Massachusetts, News