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Prince George County Police Officer Michael Brown Felt Unsafe After Reporting Excessive Use of Force

Prince George's County Police Department officer Michael Brown reported a fellow officer, Cpl. Darryl Wormuth, for the use of excessive force in 2020.

After apprehending a suspect, 17-year-old Kayvon Hines, Wormuth struck the teen in the throat. Hines ended up not being the person the police were looking for. Brown, alongside his partner, reported Wormuth for unnecessary use of force leading to a second-degree assault and misconduct in office charge and conviction.

This incident led to an investigation that uncovered racist text messages among officers, including Wormuth, whereas some were directed at Brown and his partner, former PGPD Officer Thomas Lester.

But it's what police investigators found on Wormuth's cellphone during the case, Prince George's County State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy said and records show, that led to new concerns: a multitude of racist text messages Wormuth exchanged with officers, some of whom were still on the force.

The text messages not only contained racist language but also suggested a call to abandon officers like Brown, who reported misconduct. Messages also exposed derogatory attitudes toward other Black officers.

For instance, while discussing a criminal investigation involving Black officers, Wormuth called them "f***ing animals" and remarked they were "black people in a white man's job." Another text Wormuth sent to another officer said, "God forbid we make a Black person look bad, or expose them here for what they are ... f***ing animals."

"We didn't introduce race into this conversation or this incident. It was brought to us," Brown said.

Those uncovered text messages raised further concerns about the safety of whistleblowers like Brown. Brown questioned whether the department had done enough to protect officers who report malicious actions.

We'll continue to follow this story for future updates.

Source: NBC Washington


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