Maryland State Police investigating video where trooper rips out car window
DUNKIRK, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland State Police are investigating a trooper's actions in a traffic stop where the trooper ripped out a driver's window with his bare hands and pulled the driver out of the car.
The incident unfolded on Route 4 near Dunkirk during a traffic stop on May 7, but the driver posted his recording of the stop Wednesday.
In the driver's video, the trooper almost immediately asks the driver to get out of the car. The driver asks why he needs to get out of the car and argues that point back and forth with the trooper for nearly five minutes.
The video stops when the trooper, growing frustrated, reaches his hands into the cracked window, breaks out the window and then pulls the driver out.
The driver, Ray Harris Jr., was arrested and spent eight hours in jail. He was charged with failing to obey a lawful order, but the charge has since been dropped.
David Benowitz, of Price Benowitz, LLC, says he doesn't believe the trooper had enough information to lawfully order the driver out of the car, which requires reasonable articulable suspicion that a pat-down or vehicle search needs to be done.
Benowitz does advise drivers to comply first.
"If I were the driver of that car, my advice would be you get out of the car and deal with that issue later," said Benowitz.
Harris is working to get his arrest record expunged. He also wants reimbursement from Maryland State Police and is urging them to discipline the trooper.
"I don't have a problem with police. I have a problem with police thinking they can do whatever they want," Harris said.