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No Criminal Wrongdoing Found in Case of Officer Who Hit Handcuffed Man

The incident occurred Aug. 5 outside of Laurel Station Bar & Grill.

The State's Attorney for Prince George's County has found "no apparent criminal wrongdoing" from an August case in which a Laurel Police officer struck a handcuffed man, according to a statement from the City of Laurel.

The incident occurred on Aug. 5 around 2 a.m. as police responded to a report of a fight at Laurel Station Bar and Grill (14933 Baltimore Ave.).

In a cellphone video captured by an eyewitness, one officer—later identified in court documents as Pfc. J. Diaz-Chavarria—appears to hit a man outside the bar after he is already restrained.

The case drew sharp criticism and allegations of brutality. D'Ante Williams, the man who was hit, filed a $3 milion lawsuit against the City of Laurel accusing police of assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

The Prince George’s County chapter of the NAACP also said it would ask the Department of Justice to investigate the LPD over an alleged pattern of excessive force.

But according to city officials, the state's attorney has informed Police Chief Richard McLaughlin that it did not find any criminal wrongdoing in the case.

Laurel spokesman Pete Piringer said McLaughlin was "pleased that the officer was afforded the due process of the judicial system in this case."

A three-and-a-half-year veteran of the force, Diaz-Chavarria "was placed on 'limited public contact' status prior to, and during, the criminal review related to the incident," officials said.

An internal investigation by the LPD is still ongoing.

Bonnie Oskvarek December 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM
I am relieved that the officer was exonerated or at least vindicated of criminal wrongdoing. Ever since the Rodney King case, I have been concerned about "edited versions of events" by the media. If we had seen the entire cause and arrest process, I may have been far less upset about what appeared to be an unprovoked and unnecessary attack by the police officer. My (admittedly) limited experience with the Laurel Police has been that they are very mindful of the limitations placed on them by internally imposed restraints of conduct towards the public.
Tiger's Dad December 12, 2012 at 03:35 PM
This the result that should have been reached by the State's Attorneys Office. As usual in these incidents only a portion of a video is seen and people viewing the video don't have any perspective on the events that lead to the images recorded on video. The officer used poor judgement and hopefully will learn from this experience. The Laurel Police have a well earned reputation for being one of the most professional police organizations in Maryland. Let's also remember to hold the man who precipitated the incident accountable for his role in the incident. The police deal with people who the vast majority of the public would never be able to handle, much less let into their home. The police aren't perfect but they have a difficult, dangerous job and they do their best to perform as professionals. How many of you go to work each day wearing a bulletproof vest and have to face the possibility of being killed while performing your job? Walk a mile in their shoes and you'll have a much different perspective on the police. This too shall pass and the Laurel Police will continue to do their fine job protecting and keeping safe the City of Laurel.
Arthur Jackson MBA December 12, 2012 at 05:08 PM
The Life and Civial Rights of a Blackman in Laurel and Prince Georges County is worthless to the Police Department and The Politians in Prince Georges County. On Oct 9, 1969 a Blackman, Renee Richardson was shot and killed while hodling hsi daughter by Prince Georges County Police Dect Elmer Snow, at that time, we had only one Black Elected County Official, and that was State Delegate Arthur King, who called for an end to Brutality of African Americans in the County, by white officers. And in the 1980's Black State Senator Decauter Trotter was successfull in establishing a Police Civilian Review Board, for police brutlaity cases involving County Officers. Also in the 1980.'s I served as Maryland State NAACP College and Youth Council President, where I led an investigation into the shooting of an handcuffed and ankle shackled Blackman by a white Prince Georges County Police Officer, resulting in the first indictment nand conviction of a County Police Officer. The beating by a Laurel Police Officer of a handcuffed Blackman was unesscary, and as Retired Special Police Captn and Former Police Commissioner and coming from a law enforcement family, Often their actions are overlooked.The States Attorney Alsborooks is considering a run for MD Attorney General, and perhaps she doesn't want to upsdet F.O.P, as she runs for statewide office.African Americans in PG County will sit back and allow The Good Old Boys of Laurel and the County Politians to hide from this issue.
Shaka Zulu December 13, 2012 at 05:28 PM
The proper outcome was found, the police have to deal with too much already, this man should have gone home when the police told him too, but he refused and came back, bringing trouble with him. I do believe the comments made by Mr. Jackson are all true. reading his comments made me think, Is there a Maryland State Caucasian College and youth council somewhere or is just another one of those special councils for Africans only?
tanisha December 13, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Alsobrooks does not want to upset the powers that be. Everyone knows what the City of Laurel is like - hasn't changed since George Wallace paid a visit.
John S December 18, 2012 at 02:37 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/11/no-charges-laurel-officer-who-struck-handcuffed-ma/ The Washington Times story linked to above has a lot more information.

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