ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Just days after a video emerged showing an Anne Arundel County Police officer with his knee on a man’s neck, the County Executive pledged to update the policy to make it clear that behavior is not allowed.
The recently released video shows an Anne Arundel County Police officer with his knee on a man’s neck during a February 2019 arrest.
“We want to see change for the better. I believe that the community deserves that,” said Antonio Palmer, a Bishop from Anne Arundel County.
The video shows an Anne Arundel County officer with his knee on a man’s neck during a February 2019 arrest.
The officer has been suspended. Even though the video is well over a year old, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman quickly organized a virtual townhall.
“When things go wrong, when an officer acts in a way that they were not trained to act, these are things that hurt the community,” said Pittman.
Anne Arundel County Police said they found out about the video Monday when the man sued the department.
“We learned about it the same time everybody else did, just this past Monday. Once we saw the video, we didn’t wait for a complaint to be filed, the police department acted quickly, we immediately ordered an internal investigation,” said Major Katie Goodwin with the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
The man’s attorney said the charges and allegations against his client were questionable. All charges have since been dropped.
The officer in the video has been suspended with pay until the investigation is complete. The County Executive said in just a matter of days, he will announce a new policy that make’s it clear choke holds or neck restraints are not allowed.
“It won’t be a surprise to the officers because they are trained not to do it and they are told that it is deadly, it is use of deadly force and anytime deadly force is used, then it gets reviewed and it has to be justified as the only way to protect life,” said Pittman.
The changes comes as the County Executive starts a search for a new police chief. Chief Timothy Altomare said he’ll retire August 1 because he believes police rights are being stripped away and officers are the ones being treated like criminals. Chief Altomare said his retirement has nothing to do with the video that emerged Monday.