Branson Calls for Public Review of Police Excessive Force Complaint
Montgomery County Councilmember Cherri Branson is requesting that the Montgomery County Police release publicly the results of an investigation of an allegation of excessive force in the Aug. 11 arrest of a teen in Germantown.
In a letter to Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger dated Aug. 15, Branson wrote:
“I am writing in reference to the arrest of a teenager by a Montgomery County police officer that took place on Sunday in Germantown. As you know, a video of the arrest has garnered considerable attention because of the officer’s potentially excessive use of force when it did not appear that the youth was behaving violently.
I understand that the arrest is currently under investigation by the Department or Police. I am pleased to see that you are moving quickly and would like to thank you for beginning an investigation into thismatter immediately. I believe it is crucial for this process to be thorough and I request that the results be made available to the public.”
“As you know, recent events around the nation have caused many people to raise questions about the use of force by law enforcement officers. It is imperative that the residents of Montgomery County believe that the use of force is justified, examinations of the use of force be conducted with transparency and officers who use excessive force be held accountable,” the letter reads. In the letter Branson is referring to the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Cpl. Rebecca Innocenti responded to a MyMCMedia request for comment on the letter, saying the Chief has not yet responded to Branson’s letter and felt it was “inappropriate” to address the press inquiry without first discussing the issue with Branson.
When reached Wednesday, Branson said while she viewed the video of the incident released by WJLA 7, she has drawn no conclusion as to whether the officer used execssive force in arresting the teen. A WJLA photojournalist captured the video at the Germantown Commons shopping Center. According to the WJLA report, the officer responded to the center after getting complaints of teens arguing and smoking marijuana. WJLA reported the teen was arrested for failing to provide an ID upon request by an officer.
Branson said she will continue to push for a Civilian Review Board, used to review and analyze complaints regarding police actions. She said she advocated for the board when she was a member of the Charter Review Commission, a post she left when appointed to the County Council.
“What is happening in Ferguson (Mo.) is not precipitating this, but with the events that occurred in Ferguson it is important that the people of Montgomery County know that transparency and accountability is alive and well in every part of Montgomery County,” she told MyMCMedia Wednesday.
Branson said the recommendation to initiate a Civilian Review Board was presented to the County Council “a few weeks ago.”
Montgomery County Councilmember Cherri Branson is requesting that the Montgomery County Police release publicly the results of an investigation of an allegation of excessive force in the Aug. 11 arrest of a teen in Germantown. In a letter to Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger dated Aug. 15, Branson wrote: “I am writing in reference to the […]