Brooklyn cop lied about getting run over, pleads guilty to perjury
A Brooklyn cop pleaded guilty to perjury on Thursday for falsely claiming that a man nearly ran him and his partner over, a claim that resulted in that man’s arrest.
Michael Bergmann, who was assigned to the NYPD’s Grand Larceny Division, was patrolling in Sunset Park in February when he and his partner pulled their unmarked vehicle up to a burglary suspect that Bergman recognized, according to prosecutors.
The cops exited their vehicle. Bergmann claimed — both in a criminal complaint and in grand jury testimony — that after they exited, the suspect tried to run him and his partner over, forcing him to dive to the ground and injure himself.
But video footage obtained from the area by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office showed that when the car drove off, it came nowhere near either of the officers.
“This officer’s false claims led to an individual being charged with a crime he did not commit,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a statement. “The criminal justice system must be able to rely on the integrity and credibility of our police officers to keep our communities safe and to ensure equal justice. This defendant has now been held accountable for his inexplicable actions.”
Bergmann was arrested in June and pleaded not guilty at the time in front of Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun.
Bergmann was named as a defendant along with three other officers in a 2015 lawsuit, which alleged the four cops broke into the home of a man named Willie French, where they “illegally trespassed, searched, invaded, intimidated and violated the plaintiff’s civil rights.”
The suit was settled for $175,000.
Bergmann pleaded guilty to first-degree perjury, second-degree perjury, making a false statement and official misconduct on Thursday.
The Brooklyn DA requested one year jail time for Bergmann, but Chun indicated he may sentence the officer to six months with five years probation, according to prosecutors.
The guilty plea comes just a day after the Brooklyn DA released information regarding cops deemed not credible, who they never use as sole witnesses in a case, as a response to a WNYC/Gothamist Freedom of Information Law request. Bergmann’s name was not on the list.
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