ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A Montgomery County police officer was charged after a viral video showed him allegedly assaulting a man during an arrest.
Kevin Joseph Moris, 31, of Silver Spring was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
“It’s a sad day when Marcus and I have to stand here and charge a Montgomery County Police Officer,” said Montgomery County State’s Attornery John McCarthy.
He has also been suspended.
McCarthy and Acting County Police Chief Marcus Jones announced the charges Tuesday morning, after County Police opened the investigation into the video last week.
Cell phone video uploaded to Twitter on Thursday showed a Montgomery County police officer kneeing a man’s head into the ground while handcuffing him. Afterward, the suspect can be seen with a bloody mouth.
The video went viral, viewed by thousands, as investigators worked to determine if the use of force was excessive.
WARNING: The video and its caption contain profanity.
At one point in the 44-second cell phone video, the suspect yells at an officer, “I just spit on your (expletive) shoe,” after which the officer pulled the man’s shirt over his face.
Officer Moris was then shown driving his knee into the suspect’s neck during the July 3rd drug bust.
The man arrested, 19-year-old Arnaldo Pesoa of Silver Spring, reportedly resisted arrest when police made contact with him inside a McDonald’s in the Aspen Hill Shopping Center Wednesday.
He is accused of attempting to deal drugs to an undercover officer inside the McDonalds.
He was taken to jail on charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, attempted distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, resisting arrest and second-degree assault.
He posted a $5,000 bond and was released.
Police said officers were conducting an undercover operation regarding Pesoa selling psilocybin mushrooms in the area when the incident occurred.
Morris, has since been assigned to administrative duties and his police powers have been suspended as the department reviews the incident, the department said in a statement.
The case follows another previously caught on camera controversy involving a Montgomery County police officer, after a witness recorded that officer using a racial slur less than two months ago.
“Are there people that run afoul of the standards that we expect for a police officer in Montgomery County from time to time. Yes. And, I will tell you, when that happens we will hold them accountable just as we’ve done here,” McCarthy said.