A Howard County police officer has been indicted by a grand jury on a second-degree assault charge, according to police.
The indicted officer, PFC Lawrence Cameron Cook, is a seven-year veteran of the force. He has had his police powers suspended and has been removed from duty, though he is still being paid, according to information released Friday by police.
The charge follows an incident on March 18 in Columbia. Cook was not on duty at the time.
The police department's internal affairs division also is investigating the alleged assault, according to police.
Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon said his department was committed to looking into the incident and keeping the public informed of the results of the investigation. According to McMahon, it was the police department that shared the investigation with the Howard County State's Attorney.
"We are an agency that has high expectations for our employees, both on-duty and off-duty," McMahon said in a statement. "We are also an agency that believes strongly in transparency. While this is a difficult situation, it is important that we share this information with the community we serve."