MARYLAND

Prince George's County police settle mother, daughter lawsuit

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The Prince George's County Police Department has settled a lawsuit filed against them by a mother and daughter who say they were roughed up and unjustly arrested.

The family received a $400,000 settlement.

"I still breakdown and cry. It was a very painful situation," Kenise Morris says.

Morris was 17-years-old when a Prince George's County officer pepper sprayed her and dragged on her knees after she took a picture of his patrol car.

Morris adds, "I couldn't breathe. My face was burning."

Her mother, Tracey, could only watch.

"...on her knees saying, 'Help me mommy, mommy, mommy! Help!,' and there was nothing I could do," Tracey recalls.

Tracey says the officer then turned on her.

"He grabbed me around the neck with his arm and he take the other hand, and I never saw it coming," Tracey says.

She too was pepper sprayed.

Tracey adds, "...and then he threw me very violently down to the ground."

According to the mother and daughter, it all began last year with a routine traffic accident on January 4 in Oxon Hill.

Prince George's County Police Officer Charles Jenkins came to the scene, but when Tracey asked him for a form so the drivers could exchange information, she says he refused. 

"He said that the county doesn't do that anymore, and I am not going to do it," Tracey recalls.

She says she then asked for his badge number. Again, he refused.

Kenise, a straight A student, took pictures of the two damaged cars and the officer's car.

After Jenkins allegedly attacked the two, Tracey, an active member at her church and a stay-at-home mom, was hauled away to jail. Jenkins accused her of assaulting him.

"It was just horror. All I wanted to do was go home," Tracey says.

Jenkins never showed up for the trial, so the criminal case against her was dismissed.

ABC 7 has confirmed that since this incident, Jenkins has been treated at least twice for mental health issues. He is on desk duty as a result.

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