The video shows officers pushing McKenna into a concrete wall and striking him with a metal baton. He suffered a concussion and needed staples to close a wound in his head, his attorneys have said.
“The safety of our community depends so much on the solid, quality work of members of the Prince George’s County Police Department,” State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said. “When there is evidence of potential wrongdoing by a police officer, it would never be appropriate for me to look the other way.”
First-degree assault is a felony count, and a conviction carries a maximum of 25 years in prison. Harrison and Baker, who are accused of striking McKenna with batons, also are charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office, misdemeanors.
State and federal authorities launched investigations after an attorney for McKenna released the video in April 2010. This year, Alsobrooks, who was elected in the fall, began her investigation.
A probe by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is ongoing, said Xochitl Hinojosa, an office spokeswoman.
Baker’s attorney, William C. Brennan, said his client has an “umblemished” record of 18 years with the police department and before that served “honorably and with distinction” with the U.S. Marines for eight years.
“This case is not about police misconduct,” Brennan said. “It is about the lawlessness and destructive riots following University of Maryland athletic events.”
Harrison’s attorney did not immediately comment.
Terrell N. Roberts III, an attorney for McKenna, said he is “gratified” that the officers were indicted.
“We think it should have been done much earlier,” Roberts said. “We understand the prosecutor’s office had to deal with a number of officers who were not cooperative in this case. We hope justice will be done.”
Police in riot gear were out in full force the night of March 3, 2010. In previous years some post-game celebrations had gotten out of hand, with students starting fires and damaging property.
The video, which was recorded by another student, shows McKenna skipping along the sidewalk.
Mckenna stopped a few feet in front of a phalanx of officers on horseback, the video shows. As he backed up, two county officers in riot gear ran up and slammed him against a wall. At least one of the officers struck McKenna with a baton.
McKenna crumpled to the ground. As he fell, a third officer rushed in and struck him with a baton, the video shows.
McKenna and another student, Benjamin C. Donat, were charged with attacking police officers on horseback.