Maryland Officer Accused of Assault Captured on Dash Cam Video

Picture_4_crop380wPrince 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.

For the story and video, click here and here.

10 thoughts on “Maryland Officer Accused of Assault Captured on Dash Cam Video”

  1. I only have one request. That bully (and, research it, murderer also) Steven Jackson NOT be permitted to be in solitary confinement when he goes to prison.

    I have never committed a crime in my life. It would be tempting to do so, though, if I could be assured to be imprisoned in the same unit as Jackson. Live long and prosper, Steven Jackson.

    And Vince Canales, with your utter deceit, you have done more damage, more hateful damage, to the community standing of police officers than you will possibly ever repay. You better start rehearsing some better BS for the day you get asked about that by St. Peter at the Gates.

  2. I have black friends from PG county. They tell me the cops are horrible there, they aren’t really interested in protecting people and only get their act together when pursuing drugs.

  3. rafflaw,

    Yes you do understand that New Haven, CN is part of the northern part of Texas.

  4. Are you sure that this case wasn’t from Texas? I agree with Jim Byrne that this kind of episode is a prime example why the police need to be policed by a citizen review board. The police consistently refuse to discipline their officers and people get hurt and killed because of it.

  5. The statements of other officers, in defense of Cpl. Jackson’s actions, serves well to demonstrate why self-policing doesn’t work. It never has, and never will.

  6. I just don’t understand this dept. Their action doesn’t make sense legally (civil suits mentioned above) and this kind of thing undermines police/citizen and police (meaning those who are trying hard to do a good job)/police (who are corrupt) relations. For the law to work at all, when a police officer crosses the line, swift, sure and appropriate action needs to be taken by the dept. Each officer deserves a fair hearing and investigation. If this investigation finds abuse of power, then the officer should not walk away from it, s/he should be held accountable according to the law and standards of conduct for peace officers. In this case, it would appear an arrest is in order.

    The attempt to cover up this assult is equally disturbing. This too violates public trust, professional ethics and criminal law. There should be a thorough investigation into the lack of charges and attempt to hide evidence. We are making a hugh mistake in this society regarding police/prosecutorial misconduct. It does mean something when people cannot trust the legal system. We know this from history, from other societies and from our current system–the results are a disaster.

  7. “Maj. Andy Ellis, a police spokesman, said that an internal investigation of the incident has been completed and that police supervisors are reviewing the findings. Ellis declined to elaborate but said that, after reviewing the video, he thinks Jackson’s actions were appropriate.”


    Chief Daryl Gates called the use of force “very, very extreme”: “For the LAPD, considered by many the finest, most professional police department in the world, it was more than extreme. It was impossible.”

    Rodney King won a 3.8 million dollar verdict from the City of Los Angeles. Major Ellis may want to take heed.

  8. “Maj. Andy Ellis, a police spokesman, said that an internal investigation of the incident has been completed and that police supervisors are reviewing the findings. Ellis declined to elaborate but said that, after reviewing the video, he thinks Jackson’s actions were appropriate.”
    “Vince Canales, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 89, said that the videotape “clearly shows that the suspect was resisting arrest” and that Jackson’s actions were justified.”

    These statements bring the testimony/credibility of all police officers into question. Are they really that blind?

  9. Humm, Resisting, Obstructing and/or Opposing a Police Officer. Sounds good to me. Maybe the State should adopt Britain’s policy of no video so that the Good Officers word would not be checked. No Officer would ever lie. They are sworn to uphold the truth and justice and family values. Yeah baby.

    I do think that he has exhibited the requisite qualifications to be a Judge or maybe even President.


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