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Baltimore detective indicted after allegedly assaulting store customer for not wearing mask

In Baltimore, a man really encountered the mask police – and suffered accordingly.

The state attorney over Baltimore announced Wednesday that a grand jury had indicted city police Detective Andre Maurice Pringle on one count of second-degree assault and one count of misconduct in office. If convicted on the assault charge, Pringle faces up to up to 10 years in prison. The misconduct charge is a misdemeanor.

On April 19, 2020, according to prosecutors, the victim, Brandon Walker entered a Shoppers Supermarket wearing a face mask on top of his head. That apparently violated COVID orders handed down by Gov. Larry Hogan and Mayor Jack Young.

The store manager asked Walker to put his face mask on properly and he refused. The manager then called store security who asked Walker, who at the time was using a crutch and wore a cast on his right foot, to comply or leave. Walker refused again, and the manager subsequently called Pringle.

Pringle, in full uniform, told Walker that he had to go. As Pringle ushered him toward the door, prosecutors say, Walker yelled at and cursed the officer.

At the doors, Walker stopped and glared at Pringle, and the cop then grabbed Walker’s jacket and shoved him out the door.

Once they were outside, Pringle slammed Walker’s face into the concrete. Pringle then got on top of Walker and bent his left leg upward until his foot met his buttocks.

Prosecutors said in a press release the contact was “intentional, harmful, offensive, and unwanted,” as well as “not accidental, consented to, nor legally justified.”

State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said, “This office remains committed to upholding one standard of justice regardless of who violates the law. 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.”

Pringle is a 23-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, and was suspended with pay, according to the New York Post.

Walker, by the way, faced charges of trespassing, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey. But those were dropped in November. He did plead guilty to violating order under a state emergency and received probation.

Pringle’s actions, however, are not that unusual.

During the pandemic, mask and social distancing scofflaws who refuse to comply with local cops’ orders have been dragged off public buses, punched, slammed into walls and the ground and zapped by Tasers.

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