Video Captures Campus Police Beating University Of Maryland Studentby Doug Mataconis
It’s always a raucous time on the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland after a basketball game, especially after a game against the Terrapins long-time ACC rival Duke, and March 5th was no exception as about 28 students ended up getting arrested for rowdy behavior and public intoxication. In turns out, though, that it was U of Md campus police who really got out of control:
Prince George’s prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation of three county police officers who beat an unarmed University of Maryland student with their batons after a basketball game last month in an incident that was caught on video and surfaced publicly Monday, authorities said.
County police also ordered an internal affairs investigation of the three officers, Maj. Andy Ellis said. Ellis said the inquiry would also focus on a county officer who filed official charging documents that are contradicted by the video.
“The video shows the charging documents were nothing more than a cover, a fairy tale they made up to cover for the officers’ misconduct,” said Christopher A. Griffiths, a lawyer for the student. “The video shows gratuitous violence against a defenseless individual.”
Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton said that one of the three officers had been identified and that his police powers have been suspended during the investigation. The other two officers will also be suspended as soon as they are identified, Hylton said.
“I’m outraged and disappointed after viewing the video,” Hylton said. “That’s not the type of professional conduct we promote. Any employee who uses excessive force will be held accountable.”
The video shows McKenna on the sidewalk as he skips and throws his arms in the air. He stops about five feet from an officer on horseback, the video shows. In the video, McKenna’s arms appear to be in front of him, but he does not appear to touch the officer or the horse. His hands are empty.
McKenna backs up, then two county police riot officers rush toward him from the street, the video shows. The officers slam McKenna against a wall and beat him with their batons. McKenna crumples to the ground.
As McKenna falls, a third county police riot officer strikes his legs and torso with his baton. The video shows the officers striking an unresisting McKenna about the head, torso and legs — more than a dozen blows in all.
Because they are wearing riot gear, the officers who hit McKenna are not easily identifiable.
In the video, county police officers and officers on horseback from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police are seen nearby. They do not intervene in the incident with McKenna. The officers form a line and move toward the students who had been milling about, the video shows, and the students move back.
The video also shows that the charges that were brought against this group of students were nothing more than a charade meant to cover up what is clearly a case of police mis-conduct.
Watch for yourself:
Fortunately for these students, someone was nearby with a video camera to record what really happened. If not for that, they’d be the ones facing charges right now