Montgomery County settled a lawsuit with a man who was kneed in the back of his head by a police officer during an arrest in 2019.
Kevin Moris was caught on video appearing to slam his knee into the back of the restrained suspect's head outside a fast food restaurant. Moris was found guilty of assault and received a 90-day suspended sentence.
The case stems from an incident in July 2019, when Moris and his special activities team went to a McDonald's in Aspen Hill, Maryland, to arrest Arnaldo Pesoa, who was suspected of possessing psychedelic mushrooms with the intent to sell them.
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 and Moris pinned him to stop the spitting.
Pesoa’s claim was settled for $400,000, the maximum amount for a state civil rights claim, Pesoa's attorney said.
"Mr. Pesoa hopes this case will lead to real reform," his attorney, Timothy Maloney, said in a statement. "No police officer should ever slam their knee onto the neck of another human being.“