1 Officer Found Guilty of Assault in University of Maryland Beating Trial

Neither officer guilty of misconduct

By Chris Gordon
|  Saturday, Oct 20, 2012  |  Updated 12:02 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks and Police Chief Mark Magaw address the media after the verdict in the University of Maryland beating trial.

State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks and Police Chief Mark Magaw address the media after the verdict in the University of Maryland beating trial.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

UMD Police Beating Victim Reacts to Verdict

John McKenna, the former student beaten by police while celebrating a men's basketball victory over Duke in March 2010, speaks after the verdict was delivered in the trial of two officers.

Jury Deliberates in Police Beating Trial

News4's Chris Gordon reports on how today's closing arguments wrapped up. (Courtroom sketches by Bill Hennessy.)
More Photos and Videos

The jury delivered their verdict after the five-day-long trial. Prince George's County Police Corporal Reginald Baker was found "not guilty" of second degree assault. He bowed in tears as one of his lawyers put his arm around him.

The jury foreman announced a different result for the second officer. Corporal James Harrison was found "guilty" of second degree assault, but "not guilty" of misconduct in office.

During their deliberations the jury twice asked to review the video of the clash in College Park between police and students the night Maryland beat Duke in basketball on March 3, 2010.

The jury decided that Corporal Baker, who was the first officer to hit student James McKenna was justified, because McKenna approached police horses after being ordered to stop. But Corporal Harrison, who joined in hitting McKenna with a baton, used excessive force because the student was already on the ground and submissive.

Harrison is a 22 year veteran of the force who was once named "Officer of the Year" and won the "Medal of Valor."

Former University of Maryland student John McKenna reacted to the verdict saying, "I'm definitely glad that some justice has been done today. It has been a long two years for me and my family, but there's a broader crime committed here and it's way bigger than two cops charged in this trial. So we hope that the Department of Justice continues their investigation."

State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks whose office prosecuted the two officers and Prince George's County police Chief Mark Magaw say they are partners in protecting the community

Alsobrooks said, "We believe that the citizens of Prince George's County have spoken loudly and clearly that although we appreciate and we really honor the protection that is provided to us, that protection must be reasonable and that protection must respect the dignity of every human being in this community."

Chief Magaw added, "This police department is resolved to be constitutional and professional and ethical. The trust of the community is paramount."

The Chief says both officers remain on suspension until a police administrative review.

States Attorney Alsobrooks says she doesn't want either reinstated as a county police officer.

Corporal James Harrison will be sentenced on Dec 14.

Second degree assault carries a possible sentence of up to 10 years.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Join the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Join the Ride To Conquer Cancer, Sept. 13... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out