June 11 (UPI) — A former Baltimore police officer, seen in a viral video beating a man last August, was found guilty on Monday of second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Baltimore Circuit Judge Yolanda Tanner, however, exonerated Arthur Williams, 26, of the more serious charge of first-degree assault without explanation.
“I can’t see how any reasonable officer would’ve done what you did,” Tanner said Monday.
The three charges were filed against Williams in August for beating 26-year-old Dashawn McGrier, resulting in a broken jaw and ribs.
Williams was suspended from the police force for the assault, and then he resigned after cellphone video of him pushing McGrier against a wall and then repeatedly punching him and kneeing him in the head went viral.
While Williams had argued self-defense, Tanner said Monday that his actions “were without justification.”
The cellphone video was not used as evidence, but footage captured on two police body cameras of the incident was admissible.
Tanner did admit body cameras do not capture a complete picture of the events and do not show “everything an officer sees” and that there are “some limits of what body cameras can and cannot do.”
McGrier, who testified during the four-day trial, said he had no comment following the verdict.
“Justice ran its course, man,” he said. “That’s all.”
Williams had previously arrested McGrier two months before the August assault for assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct, obstruction and hindering and resisting arrest.
The prosecution had argued Williams was targeting McGrier.
According to a statement published by the Baltimore attorney’s office Monday after the verdict was announced, the incident occurred at 11:40 a.m. Aug. 11, when Williams and another officer exited their patrol car and approached McGrier, instructing him to “come here.”
McGrier, who isn’t named in the release, repeatedly asked why he was being stopped. Williams then grabbed McGrier’s arm as he attempted to walk away, saying he wanted to write a so-called citizen contact receipt.
When McGrier questioned the reason for the receipt, Williams pushed him into a building and then punched him repeatedly in the face, the release said.
“Public trust is critical in the fight to make Baltimore safer,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement. “This defendant abused his position and put a citizen he was sworn to protect in danger and now he will have to face the consequences of his deplorable actions.”
Williams faces up to 10 years in prison for the second-degree assault charge while the misconduct in office charge does not carry a maximum sentence.
Williams remains out on bond until he is sentenced Aug. 9. His attorney, Thomas Maronick, Jr., said the defense team will “vigorously try” to prevent their client from serving time.