FALL RIVER — A Fall River police officer who is charged with a variety of offenses relating to excessive force and abusive behavior has been terminated from the department.

A statement from Interim Fall River Police Chief Paul Gauvin on Wednesday announced that Michael Pessoa is no longer a Fall River police officer, effective that same day.

Pessoa had been suspended without pay since June 2019, when he was charged with aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and multiple counts of assault and battery, violating civil rights with bodily injury, witness intimidation, and filing false reports.

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"My decision to terminate him was based on the findings of a hearing officer designated by the city," Gauvin wrote. "The hearing officer found substantial evidence that Mr. Pessoa had engaged in egregious violations of Police Department Rules and Regulations and that termination was warranted."

"These findings and my decision to terminate Mr. Pessoa have no bearing on the pending criminal allegations against him, which will be adjudicated through the criminal justice system," he added.

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