A Maryland police officer caught on video apparently kneeing a restrained suspect’s head was found guilty of assault but not guilty of police misconduct Thursday.
Montgomery County Officer Kevin Moris, 32, and his special activities team went to an Aspen Hill McDonald’s July 3 to arrest Arnaldo Pesoa, who was suspected of possessing psychedelic mushrooms with the intent to sell.
Prosecutors said Moris broke the law by hitting Pesoa’s head into the pavement while he was handcuffed and on the ground.
The defense said Pesoa assaulted Moris first by spitting blood on him.
Moris testified he pinned Pesoa to the ground to stop the spitting.
“From my training, this was the most effective way to deliver my body weight to bring him back to the ground,” Moris testified.
He said he got blood on his hand making an arrest in 2017 and had to undergo intense medical testing for six months.
Earlier Thursday, the jury said it was deadlocked. The judge instructed the jury to continue deliberating to reach a verdict.