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Hartford officer charged with assault, misconduct following August traffic stop

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 12:49:41-04

HARTFORD, Mich. — A Hartford police officer is facing assault charges stemming from actions recorded during a traffic stop.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says Officer Mathew Mistretta with the Hartford Police Department is charged with two counts of assault and battery and one count of misconduct in office by a public official on May 25 in Van Buren County.

According to the attorney general’s office, Mistretta stopped a truck that was speeding and driving erratically last August.

A bystander recorded the incident. Video of the incident shows Mistretta removing the driver from the truck, shoving him into the side of the truck to handcuff him and then slamming him onto the hood of the patrol car.

Nessel’s office says the video shows Mistretta taking the driver to the ground and kneeling on him in a similar manner to the George Floyd murder.

A passenger in the truck said he heard the driver say he couldn’t breathe.

According to the attorney general, the driver didn’t resist or obstruct Mistretta at any point.

Michigan State Police investigated the incident, ultimately leading to criminal charges.

Mistretta’s next court date has not yet been scheduled.