"The NAACP is going to stay with the citizens of Laurel to help come to a conclusion to the problem that exists here," Ross said.

Moe said the mayor and City Council are committed to working with the community and the NAACP.

"It's important for us to work together. This won't be done overnight, but we're going to attempt to do it," Moe said.

Internal and criminal investigations


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The alleged incident that sparked the NAACP's demonstrations occurred Aug. 5 outside Laurel Station Bar and Grill, and was recorded by a witness on a cell phone video camera. It spurred a $3 million civil suit, and internal and criminal investigations.

The criminal investigation will be presented to the State's Attorney's Office later this week, Moe said.

The internal investigation, which was opened immediately by the Laurel Police Department, is still ongoing.

The officer named in the suit, Pfc. Juan Diaz-Chavarria, is currently on administrative duty until the internal investigation is complete, police officials said.

In the civil suit, the plaintiff, identified as D'Ante Williams, 27, of Cottage City, is seeking a total of $2 million in compensatory damages from both the city and Diaz-Chavarria, and an additional $1 million in punitive damages from Diaz-Chavarria.

Williams is accusing the city and Diaz-Chavarria of violating civil rights, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Moe called Diaz-Chavarria a highly decorated officer and requested that the public allow him due process.

"You and any criminal is allowed due process. The officer is allowed due process," Moe said.