The video below has led to the dropping of charges against Ryan Dorm, 19, after four months in jail. Dorm was charged by Cpl. Donald Taylor who said that Dorm attacked him. However, the video shows that Taylor ran up to Dorm and struck him with his gun, which discharged – in full view of another officer.
According to news accounts, Dorm and a friend were at a “Lowest Price” gas station convenience store in Maryland when police became suspicious about his friend wearing a ski mask. Dorm said it was cold and his friend was wearing the mask for warmth. When police approached, Dorm said he decided to take off. The video shows Taylor running after him and hitting him with his gun without any provocation or justification.
Dorm is now suing for millions of dollars and Taylor is currently facing misconduct, reckless endangerment and second-degree assault charges.
Here’s my problem. An undercover officer appears to be accompanying Taylor. If not, it was a witness who was facing Dorm and Taylor at the time in close proximity. Why was the video necessary to clear Dorm? Did this officer or witness also file a false report? If so, where are the charges against him? Clearly, Taylor had lied about the assault and the second man could not have missed the fact that Dorm was struck by Taylor first. We have previously discussed how, even when officers are found to have brought unsupported or false charges, they are rarely punished and, when such punishment is meted out after public outcry, witnessing officers are rarely punished for their own failure to step forward.
A knowingly false arrest charge should be the basis for a mandatory termination of an officer and likely criminal charges for a false statement. I can understand how some officers misconstrue an action as a crime. However, this was a case of outright falsification by the officer. The police have not explained the apparent nonfeasance of the other officer. Indeed, we have not heard anything about the second officer’s incident report. Presumably, if the other officer gave the true account, no charges would have been filed — let alone the incarceration of this man for four months.
Source: Washington Post