A surveillance video of an off-duty Howard County police officer accused of assaulting a man at the Dorsey Search Giant will be used as evidence against the officer, according to a motions hearing at Howard County District Court Wednesday.
Lawrence Cameron Cook, 31, the officer, was indicted in July on second-degree assault charges. He has been suspended from the police force with pay.
In the brief motions hearing Wednesday, a prosecutor said the surveillance video would be submitted as evidence, but the video was not shown.
Clarke F. Alhers, Cook's attorney, said the details of the altercation will come out at Cook's trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 19.
"The video shows two men engaging each other," said Ahlers as he was leaving the court house. "It's very poor quality. The pixelation is so awful it's difficult to figure out who's who."
Ahlers did not say what precipitated the altercation that took place in the Giant parking lot. He said the two men were circling each other after they exited their cars, but did not know each other beforehand.
"I wouldn't call it a fight," said Ahlers. "I don't think my guy ever throws a blow. The complainant never said he was struck. Mr. Cook tried to ameliorate the situation; he put the plaintiff on the ground."
The court file did not include a police report of the incident because it was a grand jury original indictment and the state's attorney's office would not comment on a case in litigation. Howard County police have declined comment.
Cook, of the 4900 block of Dorsey Hall Dr., Ellicott City, is a seven-year veteran of the Howard County police force.
"I want Howard County citizens to have confidence that our detectives conducted a thorough criminal investigation into the allegations," wrote a police spokesperson in a press release.
The case is being tried in Circuit Court, although Wednesday's proceedings took place at District Court due to courtrooms at Circuit Court being closed.