A Maryland police department has suspended an officer’s police powers while it investigates whether he used excessive force during an arrest captured on video.
The Montgomery County Police Department began investigating Officer Kevin Moris’ use of force after a video of Wednesday’s arrest began circulating on social media.
The video appears to show the officer kneeing 19-year-old Arnaldo Pesoa’s head into the sidewalk outside a restaurant in the Aspen Hill Shopping Center located at 13701 Connecticut Avenue.
The department said in a statement Friday that Pesoa became ‘disorderly’ and resisted arrest when plainclothes officers tried to detain him inside the restaurant for allegedly selling psilocybin mushrooms.
Eventually able to get his out, police say Pesoa still resisted arrest.
Pesoa was freed on $5,000 bail after his arrest on charges including drug possession, resisting arrest and second-degree assault.
The officer has been assigned to administrative duties while the department investigates.
After watching the video, Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro and Vice President and Chairman of the Public Safety Committee Sidney Katz released a statement saying they were ‘saddened’ to watch videos the appear to show excessive force.
We appreciate that Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones has promptly initiated a thorough investigation into this arrest,’ the statement said, according to WBAL-TV. ‘The Council is committed to making sure that all our residents feel safe when interacting with police officers.
‘We have asked that Chief Jones appear before the Montgomery County Council as soon as possible in July to brief us on this incident and share with us his strategies for community-police relations, including de-escalation training strategies, to make our county a safe place for all our residents.
‘We will continue to monitor this investigation and will review the outcome once it’s complete.’
Video posted on Twitter also shows the commotion that took place inside the restaurant. Officers can be seen rustling with the 19-year-old as he resists arrest.
NEW: Yesterday video surfaced on Twitter showing an altercation between MoCo Police and a male suspect at the McDonald’s in Aspen Hill, Md. In it, a male officer is seen driving his knee into the suspect’s head.
I just obtained this clip, showing more of what led to that moment. pic.twitter.com/fRptFXsLQD