COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA) -- The first degree assault charges against Prince George's County police officers Reginald Backer and James Harrison were thrown out by the judge on Wednesday morning in the trial about the beating of University of Maryland student John McKenna.
The judge said that prosecutors had not made their case for it.
Baker and Harrison still face second degree assault and misconduct in office charges stemming from the March 3, 2010 incident.The incident, during a rowdy street celebration after Maryland beat Duke, was caught on tape.
On Monday, defense attorneys called the situation on the street a riot. They said commanders gave officers orders to deploy shields, batons and horses to clear the streets and prevent mobs from forming around agitators.They said McKenna charged at police with clenched fists and was "taken down" in an attempt to protect police horses and to force him to "show his hands"
During his testimony, Baker said the reason he kept hitting McKenna is that McKenna refused orders to show what was in his hands.
Prosecutor Joe Ruddy called the incident a clear-cut case of police brutality.
"This case is about 3 things: power, trust and the law," Ruddy said. "These officers abused that power, broke that trust and violated the law."
McKenna, who suffered a severe head laceration and a concussion, was not treated for 8 hours while in police custody, Ruddy said.