Archives For Excessive Force


Joseph Freda accused of hitting man with flashlight

Salem officer on leave charged with assault

SALEM, N.H. — A Salem police officer accused of using excessive force during an arrest was fired Tuesday.

Salem officials announced that Joseph Freda was fired from the Salem Police Department after he waived administrative hearings scheduled for Tuesday.

Freda was placed on paid administrative leave after the Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation about an Oct. 6 arrest. Officials said Freda was accused of hitting a man in the head with a flashlight and stepping on the man’s hand while he was handcuffed and sitting on the ground.

Salem police said they conducted their own investigation and then placed Freda on unpaid leave.

After Freda waived the hearings, Town Manager Keith Hickey fired him at the recommendation of Chief Paul Donovan, town officials said.

The attorney general’s investigation is ongoing. Freda has been charged with two counts of simple assault.