Judge upholds officer's firing

January 07, 1994

An Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge yesterday upheld the firing of an Annapolis police officer accused of lying about how he and fellow officers responded to a drunken disturbance at the Cook-Pinkney American Legion Post 141 on Forest Drive.

Judge Robert H. Heller Jr. ruled yesterday that there was sufficient evidence to support Chief Harold Robbins' dismissal of Officer Keith L. Brown, a 32-year-old officer assigned to the canine unit.

Officer Brown was one of several officers who responded to a disturbance at the legion post March 16, 1992. After the incident, Cpl. William F. Neutzling filed a report saying that Officer Brown had failed to get his dog from his patrol car promptly, and had failed to employ the animal to protect officers facing a hostile crowd outside the hall as they tried to subdue a suspect.

Officer Brown reportedly told a Police Department trial board the suspect was not resisting arrest, and he complained that the corporal used excessive force in subduing the suspect. More than 10 witnesses were called and 14 exhibits were submitted as evidence considered by the trial board, according to the judge's opinion.

The board found Officer Brown guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer in connection with a report filed Dec. 4, 1992. The board recommended a 10-day suspension with out pay. Chief Robbins dismissed the officer Dec. 17, 1992, stating that his credibility was "seriously" undermined because he had lied to officers investigating the incident.

POLICE LOG

* Annapolis: Someone removed an air conditioner from a law office window and broke into a building in the unit block of Franklin Boulevard late Tuesday or early Wednesday, according to city police. Several desks inside an attorney's office were ransacked after the break-in between 11 p.m. and 8:45 a.m. Six sheets of U.S. postage stamps, worth about $30, and a 35-mm camera with zoom lens were stolen.

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