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Baltimore Cop Gets 5 Years In Beating of Handcuffed Juvenile

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Baltimore cop Gregory Mussmacher was convicted in state court of assault after he used his police baton to strike a handcuffed and shackled juvenile in the head and face.

But the conviction was reversed. So in stepped the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which convicted Mussmacher in May for the 2004 beating and obstructing justice by trying to cover the matter up, authorities said.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Baltimore sentenced the former  Baltimore cop to five years in prison, the Justice Department announced.

During its probe into the matter, the Justice Department also brought charges against  two officers, Guy Gerstel and Wayne Thompson,  who pleaded  guilty and testified against Mussmacher. Gerstel, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the investigation, is set to be sentenced later this month. Thompson, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor obstruction charge, was sentenced in September to 6 months of home detention.

“The power that accompanies a police officer’s badge does not give the officer the right to violate the civil rights of those in his or her custody,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil rights Division. “The Justice Department will aggressively prosecute any officer who abuses their power and violates the public trust in this way.”

“Any police officer who abuses a suspect, writes false reports and obstructs justice must be held accountable,” added Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. “This case is an embarrassment to the many officers who earn our confidence by performing their duties with honor and integrity.”

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