Following the home basketball victory against Duke, University of Maryland students took to the streets to celebrate. Prince George’s County Police, along with mounted officers from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, responded to disperse an unruly crowd. One student skipped for joy toward police in riot gear, then stopped as he neared two mounted officers. Prince George’s officers rushed the student, beating him with clubs until he fell to the ground, and then continuing to deliver blows as he lay on the pavement. Video of the incident:
The student, John McKenna, was charged with felonies on suspicion of assaulting officers on horseback and their mounts. The charges against McKenna were dropped yesterday without comment, and now the officers responsible for the beating are under scrutiny. One of the three officers who beat McKenna has been suspended, and as soon as the other two are identified they face parallel sanction. Prince George’s prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation as well.
While this story is moving in the right direction, the video contradicting the charges against McKenna and putting police brutality on record made all the difference. Good reason to be wary of laws prohibiting photography or video of police officers.