A District of Columbia police officer who was fired from the force two years ago for allegedly striking a prisoner in a holding cell was acquitted of that charge yesterday by a D.C. Superior Court jury.
The former officer, Tommy C. Musgrove, 29, was originally convicted in a 1980 D.C. Superior Court trial, but the D.C. Court of Appeals overturned that conviction and ordered a new trial.
A police trial board recommended the Musgrove be fired based upon the original conviction, even though the trial board concluded that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Musgrove used excessive force in the incident. He has been working as a grocery-store clerk since his firing.
Musgrove's attorney, David E. Shreiber, said after yesterday's verdict that he would seek to have Musgrove reinstated as a city police officer.
The charge stemmed from an allegation by 24-year-old Michael Morris of Silver Spring that he was beaten with a blackjack in his cell at the First District substation after cursing an officer. Morris, a hotel kitchen worker at the time of his arrest, received a cut over his eye.
Musgrove acknowledged striking Morris with his fist, but said it happened when Morris started a scuffle while officers were trying to fingerprint him. Morris had been brought to the station on a disorderly conduct charge. That charge was later dropped.
Schreiber said he would take the matter of Musgrove's reinstatement to court if it is not approved by Mayor Marion Barry.