2 Officers Indicted In Beating Of Univ. Of Md. Student

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJZ) — Two Prince George’s County police officers could face jail time for the beating of a University of Maryland student. The whole thing was caught on camera.

Monique Griego has the latest break in this developing case.

That attack happened last year when students rushed the streets of College Park following Maryland’s win over Duke. The video of the beating was seen across the country.

Blow after blow, you can see the officers hitting 21-year-old John McKenna. Now those officers face justice for the attack. Reginald Baker and James Harrison have been indicted on felony assault charges.

“These officers, like anyone else accused of a crime are presumed innocent, until they are proven guilty in a court of law,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.

It’s taken a year and a half for Alsobrooks to present the case to the grand jury. Some are wondering why it took so long.

“It’s been a long time, much longer than we expected,” she said.

Terrell Roberts, who represents McKenna, says it may have been hard to identify the officers, who were in riot gear.

“I’m sure that it’s been difficult for the prosecutors because the police officers may not be fully cooperative,” Roberts said.

Police reports claimed McKenna assaulted a police horse and received minor injuries from that horse. The video disputes that claim.

Students remember the chaos that night.

“I didn’t actually see him but seeing other people and the cops coming and all I was thinking was run, get back to my room as fast as I could,” said senior Austin Walker.

Tuesday, the police chief released a statement saying, “The Prince George’s County Police Department…is committed to constitutional, professional and ethical policing…Maintaining the trust of our community is the focus of my administration.”

The FBI helped in the investigation. John McKenna was initially charged with assault by police. Those charges have been dropped.

The officers face a maximum of 25 years behind bars on first-degree assault charges. They also face second-degree assault and misconduct in office charges.

  • fedupwithitall

    I wonder if this is the same Ofc. James Harrison that use to work as a Officer at Morgan State Universtiy several years ago. He had been a P.G. Cop and went to Morgan and then I heard he settled a Lawsuit with P.G. and went back>???

  • Greg Ballantyne

    Sure is good to know that honesty is alive and well in our police departments – time after time you see this sort of article. I also hear stories from police officers in casual settings, talking about how they handle situations on the job in a similar manner – lie on the report. Gives a citizen a real felling of confidence…..

    • Bill S.

      I agree fully with your comments Greg and we have only the seated judges (present and past) to thank for fostering this atmosphere of allowing officers to break the law and not recieve punishment for it on a daily baisis. Maryland seems to allow this behavior a lot more than most states also which is not to say other states don’t do it also but not on an everyday basis like Maryland has always done. Of course the public reply from MSP and local police agencies will be about “a few bad apples” versus those who serve and protect with honor everyday but the actual distinction between those two categories is becoming more and more blended into a single factor of bad leadership from their commanding officers who promote this type of wanton behavoir.

  • Bill S.

    This is how cops of today behave. They take the law into their own hands and then illegally decide to dish out whatever justice they see fit. Especially in states such as Maryland, cops seem to have a serious problem adhering to the same laws they have sworn to uphold. They run red lghts at will, speed when there is no call to respond to, jump across three lanes of traiffic on Interstates and then you have the MSP who seem to be the steroid junkies everyone claims they are. Then you have the local police who get drunk and beat their wives on a daily basis but are never charged thanks to the code blue secrecy factor. It’s a shame Maryland has officers like this who are in all actuality the very law breakers they were suppose to defend it’s citizens against!

  • JQP

    …and our police departments want to make filming them illegal…wonder why?

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