Baltimore detective charged with assaulting shopper who refused to wear mask
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A Baltimore police detective accused of assaulting a man who refused to wear a mask at a grocery store has been indicted, prosecutors said.
Det. Andre Pringle, 45, was charged last week with second-degree assault and misconduct in office for allegedly slamming 25-year-old Brandon Walker to the ground outside of Shoppers Supermarket in April after he refused to put on a mask, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Wednesday.
Prosecutors allege a manager at the supermarket asked Walker — who was using a crutch at the time and had a cast on his right foot — to wear a face mask in compliance with state and local mandates, but he refused.
The manager called security guards who again asked Walker to properly wear the mask on top of his head, but he again balked at the request, prompting the manager to call Pringle, who had been stationed at the store, prosecutors said.
The detective then approached Walker and told him he had to leave the store and the two began walking toward the exit, during which the uncompliant shopper began “yelling and cursing” at Pringle, an indictment shows.
Walker then glared at Pringle as they stopped in an enclosed area between automatic doors before the detective “grabbed Walker by his jacket” and pushed him, according to the indictment.
“Detective Pringle continued to push Mr. Walker out of the store’s exit,” prosecutors wrote. “Once outside, Detective Pringle slammed Mr. Walker to the ground, face first, causing him to hit his head on the concrete.”
Pringle then allegedly got on top of Walker and forced his left leg toward his buttocks, prosecutors said.
Pringle, a 23-year department vet, has been suspended with pay, the Baltimore Sun reported.
He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the assault charge, Mosby said.
“This office remains committed to upholding one standard of justice regardless of who violates the law,” Mosby said in a statement. “This indictment alleges actions that we simply cannot tolerate or accept from those that are sworn to protect and serve the citizens of this city.”
Walker was also charged in the incident, but counts of trespassing, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey were dropped last month. He pleaded guilty to violating order under a state emergency and was put on probation, the Sun reported.
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