Prince George’s County police are investigating a disturbing dash cam video of Cpl. Steven Jackson, who is accused of yanking a man out of his car and then slugging and tacking him. Shawn M. Leake, 24, had insisted on being told why he was being told to exit his car. The incident occurred on May 25, 2008.
Jackson is clearly irate when he tells the driver “Step out of the car now, or I’ll have you out of the car.”
He had previously issued three such demands in rapid succession. Leake responded, “You yelling, but you have to give me a reason to step out of the car.”
Jackson is shown yanking Leake out of the car and slugs Leake in the face. There is no evidence of any threat or violent move by Leake. Jackson then tackles Leake.
The video seems to contradict Jackson’s account who said that, when Leake exited the vehicle, “he immediately took a combative stance and struck me with a closed fist uppercut to my face.” He also claims that “the defendant continued to fight me and even tackled me to the ground into the next lane of oncoming traffic.”
What is interesting is that county prosecutors persisted in bringing charges and only dropped them when the defense counsel saw the video. The question is whether any prosecutors or police reviewed the tape before the discovery by the defense. If so, there should be charges considered for others beyond Jackson.
Three months after this video, Jackson fatally shot an unarmed man, Manuel de Jesus Espina, 43, while working off-hours as a security guard. He insisted that Espina had struggled with him during an attempted arrest, an account disputed by witnesses.