At the University of Maryland an alleged case of student-on-police violence turned out to be quite the opposite, reported the Washington Post on April 13. Recently-released video footage instead shows three police officers in riot gear attacking an unarmed student.
“Charging documents say [John J.] McKenna and [co-defendant Benjamin C.] Donat provoked the beating by attacking officers on horseback,” Ruben Castaneda writes for the Washington Post. “The video clearly shows the officers rushing McKenna and beating him, although the teenager had not touched any of the mounted units.”
“The charging documents also say that the horses injured McKenna and Donat and make no mention of the beating by the officers. The video shows no aggression by the horses,” Castaneda writes. The filmed incident took place on March 3, following the University of Maryland’s narrow basketball victory over Duke University.
“At least part of the incident with McKenna was videotaped by another student,” he writes.
As can be seen in this YouTube video, a cut version of the beating (8:00) has been online since March 4, but the charges against McKenna were dropped this Monday.
Felony charges against Donat were dropped last Friday, writes Castaneda; he also notes that the Prince George’s prosecutors are launching a criminal investigation.
“County police also ordered an internal affairs investigation of the three officers, Maj. Andy Ellis said,” writes Castaneda. “Ellis said the inquiry would also focus on a county officer who filed official charging documents that are contradicted by the video.”
Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton said at a press conference that he has suspended one of the three policemen but the other two had not yet been identified, reported WUSA9.com in this video.
“The other two officers will also be suspended as soon as they are identified, [Police Chief Roberto L.] Hylton said,” writes Castaneda.
The incident can also be seen in this video by Frozen Phoenix Productions at approximately eight minutes in. The user, who’s YouTube profile indicates he is a University of Maryland student, pieced together other short clips from the riot, including students massing in the middle of the intersection (1:00), and waving a broken street sign (1:38), among other tomfoolery (2:02).
Read More: “‘Unruly’ revelry after Maryland game leads to 28 arrests in College Park” via the Washington Post.
Bethany Stotts is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.