A video surfaced online of a Baltimore police officer repeatedly punching a man. Interim Commissioner Gary Tuggle said that "the officer involved has been suspended while we investigate the totality of this incident."
The Baltimore police officer who was captured on a viral video last week punching a man repeatedly in an encounter pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assault and misconduct.
Arthur Williams, 25, was indicted on Tuesday and turned himself in that evening. He has resigned from the force.
Williams was led into Baltimore Circuit Court on Wednesday wearing a yellow jumpsuit and shackles.
“He attacked a citizen without justification,” Assistant State’s Attorney StacyAnn Llewellyn told Judge Charles Peters. She asked that Williams remain jailed until his trial.
Llewellyn said the officer was a threat to the community.
He grew up in Baltimore near North Avenue and earned a scholarship to attend Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. He attended McDaniel College in Westminster for three years, played on the football team, and ran track and field, the college spokeswoman said. He enlisted in the Marines in 2013, his attorney said, and volunteered in the community.
“This is a man who’s a spectacular person,” his attorney said. “No history of violence during his time as a police officer.”
“Mr. McGrier stated several times that he would kill this officer once he was released from prison,” Williams wrote.
McGrier was charged with assaulting Williams, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. He is scheduled for trial next week.
Brown called Williams’ account of that encounter “totally inaccurate.” He said he expects the charges against his client to be dropped.
Outside the courthouse Wednesday, Maronick condemned comments on the cellphone video by leaders of the police union. Union President Lt. Gene Ryan called Williams’ actions another “black eye” for the department.
“The union, to some extent, threw him under the bus,” Maronick said. “The police union and its leadership is supposed to be representing its members. They’re supposed to be talking about their due process.”
Some people called for protests after the video surfaced, Brown said. The attorney said he was ready to appear publicly to calm tensions.
A second officer in the video has been placed on administrative duties while police investigate. His name has not been released. Prosecutors say they will not charge him with a crime.
The encounter is the latest blemish for the Police Department already under a court-enforced consent decree mandating sweeping reforms. U.S. Justice Department investigators have accused the department of widespread unconstitutional and discriminatory practices.
A police spokesman on Wednesday confirmed the resignation of Officer Spencer P. Moore, a 14-year veteran of the department. Moore was charged with drug possession and distribution after Baltimore County police said they saw him making a drug deal in a Woodlawn parking lot last month.
Online court records do not list his attorney. Moore resigned Aug. 1.