In a 2005 report from ABC news network, Andrea McCarren, a reporter on assignment to investigate allegations of police and government’s abuse of public resources in Prince George County, Maryland, was pulled over and had several handguns and shotguns pointed at her.
Others at the TV station and she was subjected to threatening phone calls from County Executive Jack Johnson’s primary spokeman, Jim Kearney.
McCarren’s “crime?” Her cameraman, Pete Hakel, was sitting in the back seat, filming the police officer who was driving a publicly owned vehicle. No traffic laws were broken, yet during the drive, the journalists heard sirens and saw multiple lights behind them. Andrea exited the vehicle upon command and under threat of the raised handgun pointed at her, raised her hands and followed the directive to walk backwards.
She had nothing in her hands and presented no threat, yet when she was within reach of officers behind her, she was forcibly wrestled to the ground, injuring her shoulder.
Meanwhile, Hakel was also required under gunpoint to exit the vehicle and walk backwards. He placed the still-recording TV camera on the ground facing the officers to the rear.
When the journalists were finally released, she asked an officer a question, and he started to object to continued recording.
The end result? The reporter was awarded $5,000 in the ensuing lawsuit.
In 2012, a Prince George policeman was found guilty of assault in the second degree of a University of Maryland college student in 2010.
A police officer for the District of Columbia filed charges of police brutality of Prince George County police officers, stemming from a beating he experienced from two PGPD officers.
Although the D.C. Officer was charged with having an open bottle of alcohol in public and with resisting arrest, a witness corroborated the victim’s story: He complied with law enforcement directive and told the officers that he too was in law enforcement.
The victim officer, Richard Merritt, has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit but was placed on a special duty status, non-contact status with the Metro Police Department, while the matter is thoroughly investigated.
These documented instances seem only the tip of the iceberg for Prince George County police brutality instances. When, pray tell, will this law enforcement agency be brought finally, completely and consistently back to playing well with others in the sandbox instead of being school yard bullies? Citizens of Prince George County in Maryland, be afraid. Be very afraid.