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Suspects in Prince George’s are allowed to sit in front seat of cop cars. Is that a risk?

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ABC 7 News, April 2024

7News has discovered a major concern about the Prince George’s County Police Department. A lack of backseat cages may have led to disturbing incidents of use of force. It appears that the Prince George’s County Police Department’s lack of back seat cages in their patrol cars in two separate incidents of use of force contributed to things getting out of control very quickly. There was no back seat cage in 2020 when Officer Steven Tucker was spat on by a handcuffed and belted-in suspect–and Tucker punched the man eight times.

Campaign Zero, an advocacy group that pushes to end law enforcement agency violence and hold police accountable, called it unwarranted. “It’s clear that was an unwarranted use of force and punching him repeatedly in the head was not an appropriate response,” added Campaign Zero Executive Director Deray McKesson. Fast forward to October of last year and Tucker is again placing a suspect in the front seat of a patrol car and the man doesn’t want to comply. That’s when Tucker used a neck restraint on the man. Both the men fell to the ground and Tucker’s arm landed on the man’s neck. Both use-of-force incidents were justifiable, according to the police department. But 7News wants to know why officers place suspects in the front seat, putting both the suspect and officers in potential danger.

Criminologist Eric Piza, with Northeastern University, was surprised to see officers transporting suspects in the front seat of a patrol car.

Continue reading at ABC 7 News.

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