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Former police officer Stephanie Mohr describes the pardon she received from President Trump as one of the best Christmas presents that she ever could have hoped for in the culmination of a 25-year ordeal. “This means the world to me, and this means the world to my family,” she said about the president’s decision. A federal court had sentenced the ex-Prince George’s County, Md., canine handler to 10 years in prison for a 1995 incident in which her dog bit an alleged illegal immigrant when she and another officer responded to a suspected burglary at a commercial building.
“The suspect that my dog bit received a small bite to his calf that resulted in 10 stitches. So my very harsh sentence of 10 years was basically one year for every stitch,” Mohr, 50, told the Fox & Friends crew on Christmas Eve morning.
The incident occurred when she was the only female canine officer on the Washington, D.C.-area police department, and she insists that the arrest was by the book and consistent with existing police procedures that led her to release the dog upon the suspect.
Five years later, just as the statute of limitations was about to run out, she and her training officer were indicted on federal civil rights violations. In the first trial, she was acquitted on one charge, and with the jury deadlocked 11-1 in her favor on a second charge. “In an unprecedented action with a verdict like that, the government elected to re-try me. They were desperate to convict someone,” she asserted about the politics that may have been in play.
In the second time around, the case was presented as more of a character assassination rather than a fact-based inquiry, she claimed, which resulted in the 2001 conviction (the training officer was cleared).
“There was definitely an agenda of the times, and I was made a scapegoat. The Department of Justice’s prosecution of me was overreaching and a bit over zealous,” Mohr declared, in what might amount to an understatement. Multiple appeals of her case went nowhere, she recalled.
Mohr’s son was just age three when she went to jail.
Watch the Fox & Friends interview and form your own conclusions:
(Source: Fox News)
According to the Washington Post reporting, Officer Mohr had a sketchy resume, however.
“In her second trial, federal prosecutors convinced a judge to permit them to introduce evidence of other allegations of Mohr’s wrongdoing, use of racial epithets and excessive use of dog bites, particularly on Black people, that the first jury did not hear.
“According to past reporting from The Post, Mohr had been accused of brutality in at least four civil lawsuits and was flagged by the department’s early warning system. But she had received minimal discipline. Two of the lawsuits ended with the county agreeing to pay settlements. Mohr was found not liable in at least one that went to trial.”
The suspects were homeless and were not burglars, the Post noted, and had climbed to the roof of the building to sleep for the night.
Federal prosecutors had charged Mohr while a wide-ranging FBI/Justice Department investigation of use-of-force protocols in the Prince George’s County department was underway.
According to the Washington Times, Prince George’s K-9s are now trained to only bark at suspects; during Mohr’s tenure, they were trained to bite.
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