Remember the story of Prince George's County, Maryland police officer Corporal Donald Taylor, a 13-year-veteran, who claimed that after catching up to an aggressive youth who swung at him and began to flee, the youth reached for his gun, at which point he fired his gun at the youth in self defense? The story went mega-viral because the cop's tale was contradicted after surveillance footage surfaced which showed the officer run up behind the youth, then smash him in the head with his gun in a surprise attack, which triggered his gun to fire in the process.
Well, the case finally went to court, but not before a jury, just before a judge. During an "emotional" trial which apparently moved the officer to tears, his lawyer said the video didn't show the "totality" of the circumstances, and he said police "are forced to make split-second decisions."
Of course, one of the officer's decisions was to lie about being assaulted despite being the assaulter... then file false charges claiming the opposite... But hey, maybe he made the decision in a "split-second," so I guess we should just forgive him.
Nonetheless, he found a sympathetic ear from one of his fellow costumed criminals, Circuit Court Judge Dwight Jackson, who found him not guilty of all charges against him despite video evidence contradicting everything he said.
Shockingly, 19-year-old Ryan Dorm, the victim in this case, was somehow convicted of assault, supposedly because he "assaulted" another officer who was also on the scene, that was not caught on video, and obviously I find such a claim highly suspect.
A former Prince George’s County police officer who faced criminal charges for striking a teen with a gun was found not guilty on all counts Thursday after an emotional three-day bench trial that revolved around surveillance footage of the incident.
Tears came down the faces of 40-year-old Donald Taylor, who has since retired, and his wife as Circuit Court Judge Dwight Jackson delivered the verdict.
Taylor was facing charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, providing a false statement to police and misconduct in office stemming from a Feb. 4, 2012, foot chase that ended in Taylor hitting then-19-year-old Ryan Dorm in the head with a handgun — an action that was captured on surveillance camera. The gun discharged, but no one was shot.
In delivering the verdict, Jackson said the video did not show the totality of the circumstances faced by Taylor.
“The video is just an excerpt from the incident,” Jackson said. “It gives some objective idea of what happened, but it doesn’t provide the perspectives shared by the humans on the ground.”
The incident began as officers stopped at Lowest Price Gas in Brentwood spotted two men — one wearing a ski mask — who they thought were robbery suspects, police have said.
Dorm, one of those men, assaulted one officer and ran, police said, and Taylor gave chase. About three-tenths of a mile away, Dorm slowed down and Taylor struck him, according to testimony.
Dorm, of Brentwood, was charged with assaulting the other officer and has been found guilty in that case.
Dorm also initially had been charged with assaulting Taylor after Taylor stated that Dorm had grabbed his arm and reached for his weapon. When officials concluded the surveillance video contradicted Taylor’s written accounts, those charges were dropped, and Taylor was charged.
“This case is very simple. He lied to get out of trouble,” Assistant State’s Attorney Renee Joy said of Taylor. “It all comes down to a video of the incident and a written statement, and when you compare the two, the statement is clearly an out-and-out lie.”
Taylor’s attorney, Robert Bonsib, said Taylor’s actions were justified “considering the totality of circumstances.”
“Police officers are forced to make split-second decisions,” Bonsib said. “The state seems to forget that [Dorm] had just assaulted and taken down another police officer.”
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