Police officers have a tough and dangerous job. Every day, they must protect citizens from harm. They must uphold the law, and when someone breaks the law, they have the right to arrest them. When a person resists arrest, sometimes police officers have to take it up a notch and detain the person so they do not flee the scene and possibly injure or kill an innocent person.
However, there is such a thing as excessive force. At what point does a police officer go too far and get charged with assault? A police officer from Maryland is trying to figure this out after he was placed on paid leave over an incident on July 3. The man is facing charges of second-degree assault and misconduct in office after slamming a teen’s neck into the sidewalk during an arrest.
An undercover police officer first came into contact with the 19-year-old suspect on Snapchat. The teen had posted about psychedelic mushrooms. The police officer arranged to purchase some mushrooms from the suspect.
Four police officers approached the teen at a local McDonald’s. The teen was waiting to sell drugs to the officer he chatted with online. One of the officers told the teen he was under arrest. The teen resisted, but was put in handcuffs. He was then taken outside and the rest of the incident was caught on video. It was also posted online on Twitter.
Two officers took the teen to the ground and proceeded to search him. According to the complaint, the teen spit into one officer’s shoe. The officer pushed his knee to the teen’s neck. He then pulled the teen’s shirt over his head. The upset teen was shouting obscenities at the police officers.
The teen had marijuana and mushrooms on him. He faces multiple criminal charges, including second-degree assault, two counts of drug possession with intent to distribute and one charge of resisting arrest.
The police officer has been on paid administrative leave since July 5. The internal investigation has been placed on hold. The Montgomery County Police Department is waiting for the criminal case to end first.
If convicted, the police officer could face prison time and other penalties. Second-degree assault comes with a 10-year prison sentence. Misconduct in office does not have a set jail sentence. This means that the punishment is up to the judge.
While police officers have the right to arrest criminals, sometimes they go too far and abuse their power. Given that criminals can be armed and dangerous, though, it can be hard to make the right decision with little time. The life of a police officer is always at risk.
If you have been charged with assault, seek legal help right away. Your livelihood is at risk. You could lose your job and face other penalties. The Columbia assault attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can fight for your rights and defend you against the charges you face. To schedule a free consultation, call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form.
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