The Washington Post
A Prince George’s County police officer was found guilty Tuesday of assault and official misconduct for pulling a homeless woman by her ears and slapping her to roust her from sleeping in the doorway of a store.
George Merkel, a corporal with about 15 years in the department, was convicted during a two-day bench trial before Prince George’s County Circuit Judge Dwight D. Jackson.  Merkel’s attorney, Robert C. Bonsib, declined to comment on the verdict. Merkel was placed on administrative leave after the Sept. 22, 2016, incident.In what he called “a difficult case,” Jackson said his verdict was guided by two events he deemed “somewhat extraordinary”: that Merkel’s actions so bothered fellow officers they reported them to supervisors, and that the homeless woman, while incoherent, had her “sensibilities offended,” according to her testimony.Events began about 1 a.m. that morning when Merkel was on patrol and encountered the sleeping woman in front of a closed pawnshop in Lanham, attorneys in the case said.