PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. (WUSA) -- A Prince George's County jury is now deliberating the fate of two police officers accused in the caught-on-tape beating of a University of Maryland student after a 2010 basketball victory over Duke.
Deliberations began at 3 p.m. Friday after a week-long trial.
For the prosecution, the entire case rests on a video of the incident. It was played frame by frame in court Friday.
Attorneys for the officers argued that the video doesn't show the on-the-ground perspective of the officers.
Prosecutor Joe Ruddy said the recording showing unarmed student John McKenna being taken down and beaten with batons by Prince George's County Police on Knox Road in College Park on March 3, 2010, is an "independent witness that speaks for itself."
But lawyers for officers Reginald Baker and James Harrison said their perspective on the ground was different and criminalizing decorated veteran officers with long careers is wrong.
"Heaven forbid during four seconds in the middle of a riot they got it wrong," said Baker's attorney Bill Brennan. "Sue them, sue the county .... but don't make him a criminal!"
Brennan reminded jurors that outnumbered officers were trying to disperse large numbers of students, some of whom had set fires and pulled up signs.
Then Brennan donned a riot helmet and held a police shield saying the officers' perspective of John McKenna coming toward them in a goofy fist-pumping dance on the ground was dramatically different from the video shot from a window above.
"For students it was a celebration," He said. "For police it was charging, punching and shouting... it was a threat." Noting the trial has taken days Brennan said, "Officer Baker didn't have four days to figure this out...Officer Baker had 4 seconds to figure this out. And they want to make him a criminal over this?"
Prosecutor Joe Ruddy called the incident a "straight beating" designed to intimidate other students. He added the officers failed to write up the incident as required because they knew they had acted illegally.
"These defendants abused their power, broke the law and violated the trust of Prince George's County citizens," Ruddy said.