Yesterday, a Montgomery County grand jury indicted Montgomery County Police Officer Devon Hitson, age 32, on charges of misconduct in office and second-degree assault. A warrant was issued for Hitson’s arrest. Officer Devon Hitson was hired as a Montgomery County Police Officer in February 2014 and was a patrol officer assigned to the 5th (Germantown) District. The current charges relate to his service during that time.
On August 7, 2017, 5th District command staff conducted a routine review of Use of Force reports completed by station officers. Officer Hitson had completed a Use of Force report for an August 1, 2017, incident that occurred in one of the 5th District station prisoner holding cells and involved the use of physical force against an adult male prisoner. Officer Hitson completed the report as a Department requirement that such a report be submitted when, “force is used to counteract a physical struggle.” (Please see the Department’s Use of Force Function Code available on the Department’s website for more information).
Following the review of the report, staff viewed Officer Hitson’s body-worn camera footage of the August 1, 2017, incident and also viewed video of the incident from the prisoner holding cell camera. The prisoner holding cell video showed Officer Hitson assaulting the adult male prisoner in the holding cell while the prisoner was handcuffed behind his back.
Officer Hitson was suspended from duty as a Montgomery County Police Officer and his police powers were removed on August 8, 2017.
The Department completed a criminal investigation into Officer Hitson’s actions and provided the State’s Attorney’s Office with the findings of that investigation. The State’s Attorney’s Office presented those findings and played the video from the holding cell to the grand jury yesterday. Based on the evidence presented, the grand jury indicted Officer Hitson on the criminal charges of misconduct in office and second-degree assault.
Officer Hitson remains on a suspended status and is on paid, administrative leave.
Once the criminal investigation is concluded with a resolution in the court system, the Police Department’s administrative investigation conducted by the Department’s Internal Affairs Division (IAD) will begin.
Chief Manger said of the indictment of Officer Hitson, “Earning and maintaining the public’s trust is critical to the success of every police department. When an officer abuses his or her authority, he or she must be held accountable.”
An update will be provided to the public when the criminal case has concluded.