ODENTON, Md. (WJZ) — A disciplinary hearing began Wednesday for an Anne Arundel County police officer accused of using excessive force and placing his knee on the neck of a black man.

Anne Arundel County Police Detective Daniel Reynolds is seen in a video with his knee on top of an Odenton man, Daniel Jarrells.

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It happened back in February of 2019 when Jarrells was pulled over and handcuffed during a traffic stop.

An internal investigation recommended that Reynolds be fired and he’s accused of using excessive force.

On Wednesday, a trial board of three law enforcement officers heard arguments during a disciplinary hearing to look at whether or not that recommendation was appropriate.

“Why do we have to have his knee on his neck? Why do we have to shove his head on the ground? That’s called excessive force,” said Bishop Antonio Palmer, first vice president of the United Black Clergy of Anne Arundel County.

While some on Wednesday said that Reynolds did put his knee on Jarrells’ neck and slammed it to the ground, Reynolds’ defense argued that the officer put his knee on his shoulder and said that is allowed and part of an officer’s training.

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But activists believe they’re just trying to create doubt.

“The defense attorney was doing his job and that was to make gray areas even grayer,” Palmer said.

Reynolds was suspended after Jarrells filed a lawsuit in July 2020 two months after George Floyd’s death.

Carl Snowden, convener of the Caucus of African American Leaders, said the decision of this hearing could have a significant impact on how people see police here.

“If it’s a decision to exonerate the police department, it will exacerbate police and community relations in Anne Arundel County,” he said.

The hearing will resume Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

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Stetson Miller