Prosecutor: PG officers who beat UMd. student abused power - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Prosecutor: PG officers who beat University of Maryland student abused power

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(Courtroom sketch by William J. Hennessy Jr.) (Courtroom sketch by William J. Hennessy Jr.)

A prosecutor says two police officers abused their power when they assaulted a University of Maryland student during a rowdy post-game celebration two years ago. 

But lawyers for the officers say their clients were merely "foot soldiers" who followed their commanders' orders and exerted legal and appropriate force. 

Jurors heard opening statements on Monday in the trial of Reginald Baker and James Harrison, two Prince George's County police officers accused of beating up John McKenna as students celebrated the men's basketball team's victory over Duke on March 3, 2010.

McKenna was struck with police batons as he skipped down the sidewalk with his arms raised in celebration. Defense lawyers say he ignored orders to stop and turn around.

The two officers were indicted last year following a lengthy investigation.

By ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

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