- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Maryland police officer who shot and paralyzed a handcuffed man fleeing his custody was sentenced to five years in prison, Prince George’s County prosecutors said Thursday.

Johnnie Riley, formerly an officer on the municipal District Heights Police Department, received the five-year sentence after he was convicted of first- and second-degree assault and misconduct in office for the 2012 shooting.

Riley had initially faced the more severe charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder, but Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Hassan El-Amin threw out the attempted first-degree murder charge and a jury acquitted him of attempted second-degree murder.

The charges stemmed from a traffic stop in 2012, in which Riley pulled over motorcycle driver Kalvin Kyle because the bike he was riding had been reported stolen. Riley handcuffed Mr. Kyle and placed him in the back of his police cruiser. Somehow, Mr. Kyle escaped from the back of the cruiser and began to run away.

Riley opened fire, shooting Mr. Kyle in the back and paralyzing him from the waist down.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks was dissatisfied with  the sentence.

“We respectfully disagree with the judge’s sentence in this case,” Ms. Alsobrooks said. “Mr. Riley shot Mr. Kyle in the back, while he was handcuffed and had already been searched and deemed not a threat multiple times. For Mr. Riley to only receive a five-year sentence for this sends the wrong message to our community.”

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