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MARYLAND

MILLERSVILLE

Parents say police used excessive force

Anne Arundel County police are investigating complaints that officers used unnecessary force when they broke up a fight at Meade High School last week.

A group of parents filed formal complaints Monday saying that officers” actions were unnecessary to restore order.

Department spokesman Sgt. Dave Feerrar said 11 Meade High students were arrested on the last day of school. Police said the disturbance in the gymnasium began over a stolen cell phone.

Principal Daryl Kennedy said no punches were thrown during what he called a verbal altercation between students.

Witnesses said several students were struck, slammed to the ground and handcuffed. One student said officers beat students with nightsticks before tackling them.

Police said that their officers responded appropriately and that although they are investigating the complaints, no officers have been placed on leave. Police said officers were attacked by students and received minor injuries while trying to break up the fight.

BALTIMORE

Judge denies mistrial in carjack killing

A federal judge presiding in a fatal Annapolis carjacking has denied the defense”s motion for a mistrial.

Attorney Kenneth Ravenell wanted a mistrial for Leeander J. Blake, 22, because jurors heard detailed testimony about Mr. Blake”s polygraph test. Mr. Blake is charged with murder and carjacking in the death of Straughan Lee Griffin, 51, who was shot and run over with his own car in 2002 in the city”s historic district.

But U.S. District Judge William Nickerson told the jury that polygraph results are inadmissible. He said jurors should only concern themselves with how police managed to get Mr. Blake to confess to the crimes.

Mr. Blake”s attorney said the jury can figure out what the polygraph results were, but the judge disagreed and denied the request for a mistrial.

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