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Former Prince George's Co. police officer heads to prison for assault that left man paralyzed

By: Brielle Ashford, WUSA9

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Editor's Note: The video above originally aired in February 2022.

A former Prince George's County police officer is headed to prison for one year after assaulting a man who was already handcuffed in an October 2019 traffic stop.

A judge found him guilty of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in May, and at the time, former officer Bryant Strong faced up to 10 years.

Demonte Ward-Blake, the 24-year-old man who was assaulted, was left paralyzed and will be in a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.

“Officers are expected to protect the public; however, when they don’t and their actions cause harm, they will be held accountable,” said State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy. “No one is above the law and it is my job to enforce the law and to ensure that the public is protected. I am pleased that today’s sentencing brings closure to this very tragic case for Demonte Ward-Blake’s family and this community”

On October 17, 2019, Strong initiated a traffic stop on a blue four-door Volkswagen on Brierfield and Wheeler Roads in Oxon Hill for displaying expired tags. During the officer's interaction with the driver, Ward-Blake, he unholstered his weapon. Ward-Blake then became "verbally agitated," but continued to cooperate and comply with the officer’s order, according to State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy's office.

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