Police officers in Maryland have a duty to protect their citizens. However, sometimes incidents during an arrest can lead to improper or even criminal behavior.
These issues may become even more entangled when accused officers attempt to justify such behavior and lead to criminal charges, as is the case for one former Maryland police officer who finds himself facing multiple federal charges stemming from a traffic stop in 2019.
Officer allegedly used unreasonable force
According to the United States Department of Justice, the officer in question allegedly used unreasonable force on a motorist during a traffic stop. The man in question claims that the officer detained him and then deployed the use of pepper spray without provocation. The motorist declared that the use of force violated his civil rights.
False reports lead to other charges
A follow-up investigation of the incident eventually lead to further charges pressed against the former police officer, as his report about the use of the pepper spray allegedly included false statements. While the nature of these untruths was not fully disclosed by the Department of Justice, the officer allegedly attempted to justify his actions during the traffic stop that lead to obstruction of justice charges as well as those that allege his use of unreasonable force.
Conviction may lead to jail time
If courts find the former Maryland police officer guilty, he may face up to 30 years in prison if the judge chooses the maximum sentence for each alleged offense. The obstruction of justice charge carries the heavier penalty, with a possible 20-year jail sentence.
FBI agents and legal personnel from the District of Columbia continue to investigate this case.