3 UMD Students Cleared in Duke Victory Celebration

By John Schriffen
|  Thursday, Jul 8, 2010  |  Updated 7:01 PM EDT
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Charges Dropped for UMD Students Charged in Duke Celebration

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Charges Dropped for UMD Students Charged in Duke Celebration

The charges were dropped against two students arrested while celebrating the University of Maryland basketball team's defeat of Duke in March. A third was tried and acquitted.
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Three of the University of Maryland students arrested during celebrations for the men's basketball team's victory over Duke in March were cleared Thursday.

Thousands of students poured into the streets in College Park to celebrate Maryland's victory. Some set fires, and police were called in to restore order. Many students were arrested, and multiple videos of the scene showed police striking students.

David Markham was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, which he disputed.

"As I was taking photos, changing my lenses, I pulled my head away from my camera and was kind of bull-rushed by riot officers -- knocked to the ground, struck multiple times, handcuffed and taken to jail," he said.

Markham showed that video to the judge Thursday, and minutes later, the charges were dropped.

"It's kind of ridiculous that everything progressed this far, that things were taken to this extreme when they really shouldn't have been," Markham said.

Charges against Stephen Harvey also were dropped Thursday, but senior Brandon Johnson did go to trial. An officer testified that Johnson gave police the finger and was uncooperative. That arrest was not caught on tape, and Johnson was acquitted because of a lack of evidence.

"I feel really relieved," he said. "I feel that a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and that things are actually right again."

Terrell Roberts, who is also the lawyer for a student seen pinned down in another video of the arrests, said a lawsuit for compensation for the student is in the works.

"Somebody should be asking the question, How can you have a police department which goes out and charges 28 college students and there's no basis for these charges?" said Roberts, who is also Johnson's attorney.

Prince George's County Police Chief Roberto Hylton said the department has no comment on Thursday's decisions at this time.

Markham and Johnson said they were roughed up by police, too, and they are considering filing lawsuits.

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