By Kevin O’Rourke
Montgomery County Police confirmed Tuesday morning that it was conducting an investigation into an officer’s behavior after a WJLA news cameraman caught the officer roughing up a teenager in Germantown.
The incident occurred shortly after 7:18 pm on Sunday, Aug. 10 near the Corner Bakery Café at 19820 Century Boulevard in Germantown. The video, which was initially shot from inside the café, shows a Montgomery County Police Officer speaking with four or five teenagers on the sidewalk outside the café, the officer then grabs one of the teens by the shirt and pulls him through the walkway back to his police cruiser in the parking lot behind the café.
The unidentified officer pushes and pulls the teen, eventually handcuffing and arresting him.
Corporal Rebecca Innocenti with the Montgomery County Police Department’s Public Information Office, said the police communication center received two calls prior to the incident that WJLA caught on video. The first call was at 5:33 pm and the complainant reported there were 15 teenagers that “looked like they were about to fight” near the intersection of Middlebrook Road and Celebration Way, which is around the corner from where the video was taken. Innocenti reported that officers responded at that time, but were unable to locate the group of teens.
MCPD received a second call at 7:18 pm, in which the complainant reported a group of four or five teenagers smoking marijuana. When officers responded, the caller pointed out the teens in the video as those smoking who were smoking, according to Innocenti.
Innocenti confirmed that a 16-year-old male was arrested in connection with the incident. WJLA reported that the teen was charged with possession of tobacco and failure to provide identification.
In a statement released Monday night, police said: "Almost immediately after we received the video from Channel 7, it was sent to the Chief of Police, Internal Affairs, as well as this officer's District Commander and a query has begun. The tape and the officer's actions are being reviewed."
The video is available on WJLA’s Website.