Video of a Prince George's County police officer taking a man to the ground and kicking him twice has led to the suspension of that officer, a second officer involved and their immediate supervisor.
The officer who used force allegedly chased and tried to detain two men after witnessing an assault, but the victim couldn't be found and both men were eventually released, Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said in a statement late Tuesday.
Stawinski shared video of the use of force in the interest of transparency, saying he was "sorry and angry."
Prince George's County
News4's Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports.
The officer who used force reported seeing an assault and chased the two suspects to a Langley Park gas station in an effort to detain them, Stawinski said.
According to a police statement, while one officer tried to handcuff a suspect at the gas station, the other was kicking him after throwing him to the ground.
"They will not have contact with the public," Stawinski said Wednesday. "They have been suspended; their police powers taken away. Now we'll conduct that investigation, and just as with those other incidences, we’ll submit that investigation to our state's attorney."
The officers' immediate supervisor has also been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, Stawinski said.
The findings of the investigation will be referred to the Office of the State's Attorney.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks says state laws protecting bad cops need to change.
“The truth is we need some other reforms to happen, because if I came to my job and I kicked and punched somebody, I'd be fired, she said. “So there should be some other systemic changes that will allow this chief to fire the person on the tape.”
Stawinski supported Maryland police reform legislation that was opposed by several civil rights groups that said it lacked strong officer accountability. The chief said he's going to try again.
The Maryland Officers Bill of Rights doesn’t allow the names of the suspended officers to be revealed or any prior instances of use of force involving them to be disclosed.
“When police officers kill and maim and rape and steal and lie and discriminate, then the community has a right to know that,” Stawinski said.
Prince George's County Police have been in the process of rolling out body cameras to every officer by the end of the year.
Stawinski said that four officers have been prosecuted for assault during his tenure as chief.
Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.