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Suspended Officer In PG County Beating Case Named

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By Elliot Francis

It's been more than a month since the incident, yet police in Prince Georges County are just now beginning to name the officers who beat a University of Maryland student.

Some in the community are asking why it's taking so long.

On Wednesday, county authorities named Sean McAleavey as the officer who filed charging documents against 21-year-old student John McKenna. McAleavey and another officer have been suspended and all of the others involved in the incident have been identified, yet their names have not been released.

At first, authorities said many of the officers shown in the video of the incident had their backs to the camera which made identifying them difficult.

Attorney Mara Verheydan-Hilliard, with the Partnership for Civil Justice, says there's no reason why that should be the case.

"They should have their badge numbers visible on their helmet, on their riot gear on the front, on their back in three inch high lettering. There's no reason for them not to be made available and identifiable," says Verheydan-Hilliard

Five years ago, the Partnership helped craft a law for D.C. which requires the Metropolitan police to outfit all officers with with so-called "enhanced visual identification."

Verheydan-Hilliard says doing anything less is irresponsible.

"The fact is when you send police officers without visible ID you are basically giving them a green light to act without accountability," she says.

Police in Prince George's County say more suspensions are expected soon.

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