A Baltimore police officer has been indicted on two charges after a tussle with a shopper who refused to wear a mask on his face inside a supermarket.
Officer Andre Maurice Pringle faces one count of second-degree assault and one count of misconduct in office, according to a media release from the Office of the State Attorney for Baltimore City.
If he is found guilty on the assault charge, Pringle could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
The incident took place on April 19, the release said, when Brandon Walker entered a Shoppers Food & Pharmacy Supermarket with a face mask on top of his head — a violation of state and local orders, including mask mandates, both issued in March.
Walker was walking with the use of a crutch and had a cast on his right foot.
“A Shoppers Supermarket manager asked Mr. Walker to put his face mask on properly and he refused,” the indictment against Pringle read. “The manager retrieved store security who asked Mr. Walker to comply with the Governor’s Order or leave and again he refused. The manager retrieved Detective Pringle.”
The indictment went on to say that Pringle, in full police uniform, approached Walker and advised the shopper he would have to leave. The two then began walking toward the exit.
“Mr. Walker was yelling and cursing at Detective Pringle as they continued towards the automated entry/exit doors,” the document continued.
The form indicated that Walker did not allow Pringle to escort him outside without some resistance.
“Detective Pringle and Mr. Walker entered the enclosed area between the two sets of automated doors, Mr. Walker stopped walking and glared at Detective Pringle,” the indictment read.
According to the media release, Walker turned back around after glaring at the officer, which prompted Pringle to grab the man’s jacket and push him out of the store.
Once outside, Pringle “slammed Walker to the ground, face first,” causing the shopper to hit the concrete with his head, the release added.
According to the official indictment, “Detective Pringle caused physical harm to Mr. Walker. The contact was the result of an intentional, harmful, offensive, and unwanted touching by Detective Pringle.”
Walker was charged with crimes that included resisting arrest and assault, but the charges were dropped in November, according to WTOP-FM.
Walker pleaded guilty to violating orders under a state of emergency and was given a probation sentence.
“This office remains committed to upholding one standard of justice regardless of who violates the law,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.
“This indictment alleges actions that we simply cannot tolerate or accept from those that are sworn to protect and serve the citizens of this city.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.