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February 21, 2014

Man in brutality probe charged

NH man's video launched police brutality investigation

BRENTWOOD, N.H. — A Rockingham County grand jury recently indicted the man in the middle of a police brutality investigation at Seabrook Police Department on burglary charges.

According to court documents, Michael Bergeron Jr., 24, of 112 Cimarron, Seabrook, N.H., was indicted earlier this month on the charge of burglary. Police say he entered a Hampton, N.H., home to commit a theft.

The charges, brought by Hampton Police Department, stem from an incident that they say took place on Aug. 13, 2013. According to court documents, Bergeron was acting with another individual at the time.

The charge is a B felony, which can carry a jail term of up to seven years.

Bergeron’s police brutality allegations against Seabrook police unfolded in January after a video of his Nov. 11, 2009, arrest was posted on the Internet via YouTube. The video shows Bergeron, 19 at the time, being slammed into the wall while being escorted down a police station hallway by three officers after he was arrested and charged with drunken driving and drug possession.

The video stunned residents and was instantly the subject of news reports across the state and nation. The three officers involved in the incident were immediately placed on paid administrative leave, where they remain.

The offices of the New Hampshire Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire and the FBI are currently conducting criminal investigations into the possibility of charges being brought on police brutality and federal civil rights violations.

The recent burglary indictment and 2009 DWI and drug possession arrest were not Bergeron’s first encounters with law enforcement. A check of police logs kept by The Daily News of Newburyport shows Bergeron had encounters with Seabrook police prior to 2009, beginning at age 17 in 2007, when he was charged with illegal possession of tobacco by a minor.

In July 2009, Bergeron was arrested on drug possession and illegal possession of alcohol charges.

In July 2013, he was arrested on simple assault charges, and in October 2013, Bergeron was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and robbery after an incident on Route 107. Three months earlier, Bergeron was arrested on Kimberly Lane and charged with simple assault.

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