Officer Sentenced in Case of Teen Hit While in Handcuffs

A Prince George's County police officer has been sentenced to two years of probation for hitting a handcuffed teenager.

Officer Jerry Thomas was given a five-year suspended sentence, two years of probation and 80 hours of community service, the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office announced Monday. 

Thomas was charged with one count of misconduct in office and entered an Alford plea back in April. With an Alford plea, the defendant maintains his or her innocence but admits that the prosecution has enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Video from late 2012 shows Thomas, a five-year veteran of the police force, hitting a handcuffed 15-year-old three times in a cell.

Najmah Rashad, the boy's mother, claims Thomas hit her son so hard that his right eye was swollen shut.

"He abused his power and he was basically just allowed to walk free," she said.

In 2013, Prince George’s County Police’s Internal Affairs Division launched an investigation and forwarded their findings to the State’s Attorney’s Office. In November of that year, Officer Thomas’s police powers were suspended.

"We were seeking jail time, and obviously that didn't happen, but we're satisfied in the fact that he has been held accountable for his actions," Prince George's County State's Attorney Gina Ford said.

But the teen's mother said she feels there is no justice without jail time for the officer.

"The evidence was clear, the video was clear, and he's serving no time whatsoever," Rashad said of Thomas.

The Rashad family is filing a civil suit against Thomas. On Monday, they served the former officer with a subpoena in open court.

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