After cop’s perjury indictment, Brooklyn DA to review his other cases
The Brooklyn District Attorney has begun an investigation into the other cases of a Brooklyn cop who was indicted Wednesday on a perjury charge for allegedly lying about getting almost run over.
Michael Bergman was suspended without pay from the NYPD’s Grand Larceny Division after he was arrested and indicted last week for the alleged lie.
On a criminal complaint and in grand jury testimony, Bergman claimed a Sunset Park burglary suspect drove a car at him and his partner, causing him to dive to the ground and suffer injuries. But surveillance video obtained in May by the DA’s Office showed that the car did not come close to hitting Bergman or his partner.
The indictment has called into question the legitimacy of Bergman’s testimony in other cases.
“Following last week’s indictment, our Law Enforcement Accountability Bureau has already started a review of this officer’s past cases in collaboration with the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau,” a spokesperson for the Brooklyn DA told the Brooklyn Eagle in a statement.
Public defenders at the Legal Aid Society echoed that the DA’s probe was necessary, calling for a review of every case that Bergman worked on.
“This misconduct is unconscionable, and it is not the first time that NYPD Officer Bergman has been accused of flouting the law and disregarding New Yorkers’ constitutional rights,” said Tina Luongo, attorney-in-charge of the Criminal Defense Practice at the Legal Aid Society.
A review of data by the Legal Aid Society and shared with the Brooklyn Eagle showed that Bergman was an arresting officer in 55 of their cases. He was also a defendant in a 2015 lawsuit that claimed he and other officers “illegally trespassed, searched, invaded, intimidated and violated the plaintiff’s civil rights,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit was settled for $175,000.
The Legal Aid Society does not handle all of Brooklyn’s criminal cases, and it is not clear how many total cases there are in which Bergman was the arresting officer.
“Officer Bergman’s actions led to the wrongful arrest of an innocent New Yorker, and we fear that this incident isn’t an outlier,” Luongo said. “If other New Yorkers have been wronged by Officer Bergman, we need to know. This behavior must not be tolerated,” she said.
Bergman, represented by John Tynan, was released without bail Wednesday by Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. He is due back in court Aug. 7.
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