In addition to being presumed innocent until proven guilty, when someone in Montgomery County is arrested, he or she should be able to expect that police will use only the force necessary to handcuff the suspect. This means that if someone in Largo is being arrested for attempted robbery, police can’t be extremely physical if the suspect is docile and listens to the arresting officer’s commands. If an arresting officer does use unnecessary force, he or she could be the focus of a civil rights lawsuit.
After a man allegedly robbed a bank in 2010, he says the county sheriff beat and kicked him after he gave himself up. According to the suspect’s story, he had initially tried to outrun police, but finally stopped near an open field. The suspect got out of his pickup truck with his hands up and did not attempt to resist arrest.
approached and handcuffed him, but the arrest, however, quickly got out of control after the man says he was pushed onto the bed of his pickup truck and hit. Then, the sheriff got into the truck and started to kick the man in his head, who at this point was unable to defend himself because he was restrained. Eventually, officers threw him to the ground and the sheriff continued to stomp on his face.
The man was eventually brought in and charged. Instead of going to trial, the suspect pled guilty to the bank robbery charges. It is unclear if the apparent beating had anything to do with his choice to plead guilty, but the man has said that he will be appealing his 19-year prison sentence and three-year probation.
Source: The Republic, “W.Va. bank robber sues sheriff, 14 officers he claims beat him after car chase in 2010,” Vicki Smith, May 30, 2012