On September 11, 2016, in the 600 block of East Patapsco Avenue, Officer Gaff, while conducting a vehicle stop, ordered the passenger to step out of the vehicle. When the passenger failed to produce his identification, the officer pushed and struck him in the face. Officer Gaff’s statement of charges, detailed that the passenger had struck the officer and resisted arrest, but video footage from body worn cameras of other officers at the scene revealed a much different account of events. Body worn cameras showed the victim with his arms clasped behind his back as the officer used explicit language and yelled, “You’re going to jail.”
Charges were filed against Officer Gaff who was found guilty of second degree assault and misconduct in office for his actions.
During sentencing, in a refreshing turn of events, the victim offered an impactful statement extending forgiveness toward the officer despite his horrific actions. The victim eloquently explained that while he felt the officer’s behavior was entirely inappropriate, he believed that Gaff had learned his lesson and that “jail was no place for this man.”
“This is the criminal justice system at its best and this victim’s actions in court imparted so much healing on our system and the families in this case,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “This victim not only bravely came forward against a police officer, but he also displayed an overwhelming amount of human dignity by forgiving this defendant for his crime.”
At the victim’s urging, Judge Shar imposed a one year suspended sentence and one year supervised probation.
Contact: Melba Saunders Phone: (443) 984-6078 Email: email@example.com