Maryland Cops Leave Man Paralyzed after pulling him over and Smelling Marijuana
Maryland cops left a man paralyzed from the waist down after pulling him over for expired tags last week, then smelling marijuana.
Prince George's County police say Demonte "Monte" Ward-Blake refused to place his hands on the steering so they had to remove him from the car.
Once the handcuffs were on, they say he tried to escape by elbowing a cop in the face while being searched.
The cops then "tried to take him down," leaving him with a critical spinal cord injury and a broken nose.
In a series of videos recorded by Ward-Blake's girlfriend, a cop can be heard telling her that her boyfriend kept reaching for the center console, making him fear for his life, which was why he pulled his gun and called for back-up.
However, he points out, Ward-Blake then began screaming at him, which irritated him.
"He wants to keep running his mouth, he's going to jail," the cop tells Chinayne Pollard once he is in handcuffs. "If he stops running his mouth, he won't go to jail."
Her videos also show a cop standing over her boyfriend who is sitting on the ground with his hands cuffed behind him, his body slumped forward.
"Plain and simple, man," the cop tells him. "Stop acting the fool."
So the videos suggest it was his mouth, not his elbow that led to cops leaving him paralyzed.
However, police say they not only found a knife in the center console but just over an ounce of weed as well.
The cops were not wearing body cameras and the incident took place outside the video of dash cameras, according to NBC 4.
But In a press conference Saturday, Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski mentioned video evidence in determining the cops did nothing wrong.
“Either from the internal investigation thus far, from independent witnesses that we’ve talked to, or from anything that’s been offered, whether that be testimony or video”, he said. “[I have] no information that leads me to believe that these acts were malicious.”
“I have no information that leads me to believe that this was anything other than a horrible, horrible accident.”
The incident took place Thursday after Ward-Blake and Pollard picked up her 6-year-old daughter from school who was sitting in the back seat.
Police say he admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day after they confronted him about smelling weed.
Ward-Blake's family have launched a fundraiser to assist with medical costs, legal fees and housing to accommodate residents in wheelchairs. They have only raised $345 so far.