Officer in Md. student beating to serve detention

Officer in Md. student beating to serve detention

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) A former police officer will spend 30 days in home detention for beating a University of Maryland student during a rowdy celebration following the school's 2010 basketball victory over Duke, a judge ruled Friday.

James Harrison was sentenced to a year in jail on the assault conviction. All but 30 days was suspended and the judge ordered the former Prince George's County officer to serve those in home detention.

At the center of the case was a video that shows the student half-skipping, half-jogging down the sidewalk and stopping by a police officer on horseback. An officer initially strikes him with a baton, and Harrison runs over later and also hits him. Defense attorneys said during a trial earlier this year that officers were trying to control a riot. Prosecutors described the event as a celebration.

Harrison told the judge he was proud to be a police officer and served for more than 20 years with distinction. He said he didn't agree with the jury's verdict in his case but he accepted it, and he asked the judge for leniency. Harrison's lawyer said the 48-year-old father of eight had already been punished enough, losing his career and becoming estranged from former coworkers.

The student Harrison was convicted of assaulting, John McKenna, who was 21 at the time, also spoke at the 30-minute hearing. He talked about an injury to his head from the beating, which required eight surgical staples to close, and said police officers came looking for a fight, a charge Harrison's lawyer disputed. McKenna said he would have to explain what happened at every job interview he ever goes on.

``This changed my life forever,'' said McKenna, who is working toward becoming a lawyer.

Initial charges against McKenna were dropped.

Lawyers for the state asked that Harrison spend six months in jail while Harrison's lawyer, David Simpson, argued he should serve no jail time. Simpson said after the hearing that he plans to file a motion asking the judge to remove Harrison's conviction from his record.

The judge in the case, Beverly J. Woodard, noted Harrison's years of police service and said she didn't understand why the postgame celebration got so unruly.

``Unfortunately that four seconds has changed two lives,'' Woodard said of the beating.

Harrison was one of two officers ultimately charged with assaulting McKenna. The other, Reginald Baker, was cleared of any wrongdoing by a jury in October. At the same time, Harrison was found guilty of second-degree assault but cleared of a misconduct charge. He will begin serving home detention in January.

Earlier this year Prince George's County agreed to pay about $3.6 million to 10 people who were either falsely arrested or injured by police during the post-game celebration during which McKenna was beaten. Approximately $2 million of the settlement will go to McKenna.


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John Wall shares priceless workout video with his son, Ace

John Wall shares priceless workout video with his son, Ace

It's hard to imagine a better way to work out than how John Wall enjoyed his regimen Wednesday. 

Wall posted a video on Instagram doing pushups on a BOSU ball while his son, Ace looked on. All he wanted from his dad was a hug, though. 

It really doesn't get any better than that. 

Wall continues to work toward the 2020-21 season and his much-anticipated return to the floor after missing all of the 2019-20 campaign recovering from Achilles surgery. 


In his absence Bradley Beal became one of the most consistent and prolific scorers in the NBA, the Wizards found a gem in sharpshooter Davis Bertans and saw key developments from young players such as Troy Brown Jr., Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura. 

Wall will return to a much different Washington team next season than the one he was forced to leave midway through the 2018-19 season. From all accounts, he looks ready to give them the boost necessary to become a legitimate force in the Eastern Conference. 


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DeAngelo Hall clarifies regret of not signing with Patriots: 'My heart was always in Washington'

DeAngelo Hall clarifies regret of not signing with Patriots: 'My heart was always in Washington'

Back in July, former Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall told NFL Network that his biggest career regret was signing with Washington in 2009 rather than the New England Patriots.

"Over a few million, I could've changed my legacy by being part of that dynasty," Hall said. "That was on the table for me, and I wish I would've made the decision to take less money and play for Belichick."

That, of course, quickly riled up Washington supporters on social media. Though it's understandable that Hall, and probably numerous other players, would look back and regret not signing with a team that racked up several Super Bowls, many took it as a direct slight to the Washington franchise. During an interview with Julie Donaldson, Hall, who will join Washington's radio booth for the 2020 season, explained his true feelings on the 2009 situation.


Saying he had regrets about not signing with the Patriots was not a diss to Washington, because the reason he ultimately stayed in the DMV was due to his love for the team and its fans.

“My heart was always in Washington and it was no hesitation in my mind to sign my contract and continue being a member of the Washington Football team," Hall said.

Hall admitted that the chance to win in New England is something he still thinks about. But, that really shouldn't come as a surprise. Now removed from his NFL career, hindsight is 20/20 and almost any player would look back on a potential opportunity to further their legacy with a ring as a missed shot.

Hall is no different, but it doesn't mean he didn't appreciate his time with the Burgundy and Gold. In nine full seasons in Washington, he gained valuable experiences that helped transform him into who he is today.

"But that didn’t happen and it’s made me a better person because of it," Hall said referring to him not signing with New England. "Washington has taught me so many life-long lessons."

Though he doesn't have a Super Bowl ring, the DMV native and Virginia Tech alum got the opportunity to play for his hometown team and cement his own legacy in Washington. So although he may look back and ponder what could have gone differently, he understands he can't change the past. He's okay -- and happy -- with that.

To him, Washington was always meant to be.

"C’mon man. Was there ever any doubt that I was not staying in Washington? Nobody would have believed you," Hall said. "100 percent, I’m Washington for sure.”


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