Baltimore Officer Charged With Assault After Viral Punching Video
A former Baltimore City police officer became the center of outrage this month after a now-viral video surfaced on social media, showing the officer brutally punching a man in the face. Shortly after the backlash, the officer – now identified as Arthur Williams – was reportedly indicted by a grand jury on three charges of assault and misconduct, NPR reports.
A grand jury is reportedly charging Williams with misconduct in office, one count of first-degree assault, and one count of second-degree assault.
State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that a warrant had been issued for Williams arrest on Tuesday (Aug. 14). "It is important that the community knows there is one standard of justice, no matter your sex, race, religion, or occupation," Mosby said. "Police officers are sworn to protect and serve and when that oath is taken for granted and an abuse of that power is evident, we will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law. This is an integral part of rebuilding trust in our criminal justice system."
As previously reported, the video of Williams punching the man identified as 26-year-old DaShawn McGrier surfaced on Aug. 10. Williams is seen striking McGrier several times. It doesn't appear that McGrier was fighting back before he hit the ground. Following the incident, Williams was reportedly suspended with pay, before resigning from his position on Aug. 11.
McGrier's attorney, Warren Brown told NPR that his client has sustained multiple injuries to the face and body, including a fractured jaw, two fractured ribs, and the loss of feeling in his left leg.
While the motive for the beating is unknown, both the police department and McGrier's lawyer confirm the two men had a prior history. McGrier was previously charged with assaulting an officer in June 2018.
Williams may have been charged, but he has not been convicted. Mosby told reporters that in order for the former officer to be found guilty, prosecutors "must also prove that the defendant intended to cause serious physical injury in the commission of the assault."
There was a second officer in the viral video. Mosby said there will be no criminal charges brought against that officer. Williams has not been taken in custody at this time.