BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis is crediting his own after city officers come forward to internal affairs to report the abuse of a prisoner by a city officer.
It all unfolded last September when a fugitive in custody was handed over to Baltimore City police at the Warrant Apprehension Task Force building in Remington.READ MORE: Protests Continued In Maryland Saturday Over A SCOTUS Decision To Overturn Roe V. Wade
WJZ’s Tracey Leong has more.
Authorities say Officer Konstaninos Passamichalis was assisting two bailbondsmen in the parking lot, taking control of a suspect who was a possible flight risk with several open warrants.
Police claim Officer Passamichalis placed the prisoner in plastic restraints and then grabbed him around the throat with both hands and assaulted him.
Police say the prisoner never tried to escape the parking lot. They say after witnessing the encounter, it was another detective who stepped in and took the prisoner inside.
“The officer for whatever reason assaulted an officer and that’s unacceptable,” said Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.
Officer Passamichalis is now off the job and charged with assault after fellow officers submitted a report to internal affairs.
Attorney Andrew Alperstein, who represents Officer Passamichalis, denies his client did anything wrong.READ MORE: Man Found Dead Near His Walker On Anne Arundel County Roadway Saturday, Police Say
“He followed the law, he followed regulations and he used common sense and good instincts in what he did in the case,” said Alperstein.
“Without his fellow police officers observing his criminal misconduct and bringing that to the attention of the internal affairs, we wouldn’t be sitting here today talking about this crime that was committed last year,” Davis said.
Davis called the officer’s actions a “sign of a healthy organization” and expressed his gratitude that officers feel comfortable enough to bring actions of criminal misconduct to internal affairs. He says the officer’s behavior is intolerable and taints the reputations of the department.
“Only about 2% of police officers anywhere in this country really are undeserving to wear this badge. The quicker we can identify them, the quicker we can rehabilitate our relationship with the community,” said Davis.
The officer’s lawyer says it’s unclear why these false accusations were made against his client.
“Sometimes they are mistaken. Sometimes they are not telling the truth. I’m not prepared to say motives for people or person for saying things, we will sort that out by trial,” Alperstein said.
The officer, a 24-year veteran, is now being charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.MORE NEWS: Man Shot In Joppatowne Saturday, Sheriff's Office Says
In 2008, Passamichalis received the department’s Silver Star Award.