UPPER MARLBORO, MD (December 2, 2021) – Today, after a three-day bench trial, a Prince George’s County judge found Bowie Police Lieutenant Ernest Stanley guilty of misconduct in office for shooting at a fleeing vehicle during an incident in August 2018. Sentencing is scheduled for March 1, 2021 at 9 a.m[LNM1] .
On August 8, 2018, Lt. Stanley attempted to make an off-duty traffic stop on a vehicle with two occupants after leaving work and while still in uniform. During the traffic stop, he called for backup, but proceeded to reapproach the vehicle instead of waiting for additional officers to arrive. The driver fled the stop instead of getting out of the car as asked by Lt. Stanley. The officer then fired three rounds from his department-issued firearm, striking the back of the vehicle once.
At the time of the shooting, neither occupant posed an imminent threat to the officer nor the community.
"I am pleased with the guilty verdict in this case. Police officers are sworn to operate with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity and to protect the public,” said State’s Attorney Braveboy. “Lt. Stanley made a decision to fire his weapon at a fleeing vehicle. There was no imminent threat to the officer or the community, and he put members of the community in danger and that was unacceptable. We are pleased with the judge’s decision in this case.”