November 23, 2021: Fairmount Heights Police Officer Charged with Kidnapping, Perjury and Misconduct in Office
Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard III announced today that a Prince George’s County Grand Jury has indicted Fairmount Heights, Maryland Police Officer Phillip Dupree on multiple charges of Kidnapping, Perjury, and Misconduct in Office.
The indictment alleges that sometime during the late-night hours of August 3, 2019 and the early morning hours of August 4, 2019, Officer Dupree conducted an illegal traffic stop in Washington, DC, handcuffing and arresting the driver of the vehicle, Mr. Torrence Sinclair. Officer Dupree then allegedly sprayed Mr. Sinclair with OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray, while he was still handcuffed. Although an ambulance responded to the scene, Mr. Sinclair was not treated by medical personnel for the effects of the OC spray. After leaving the scene, Officer Dupree took Mr. Sinclair to the Fairmount Heights Police Department (which does not have a holding cell), instead of the Department of Corrections (DOC), as he had radioed to the dispatcher was his intended location. Officer Dupree then held the Mr. Sinclair, handcuffed the entire time, at the Fairmount Heights Police Department for several hours before actually transporting him to DOC.
Officer Dupree subsequently completed a Statement of Charges and Statement of Probable Cause, filed with the Prince George’s County District Court. Among other misstatements, Officer Dupree stated that the traffic stop occurred “near Washington, DC”, that “(ambulance) #840 came and decontaminated Arrestee (Sinclair)”, that Officer Dupree “transported A-1 (Sinclair) to DOC Upper Marlboro jail without incident”, and that “[a]ll of these events did occur in Prince Georges County Maryland”. The indictment also alleges that Officer Dupreecommitted misconduct in office when he made factual misrepresentations, material omissions, and falsehoods regarding the incident.
“Any law enforcement officer who abuses their power, and then intentionally provides false information regarding their actions, should be held accountable,” stated State Prosecutor Howard. “Our office will work to ensure individuals who abuse police powers are investigated and where appropriate, prosecuted.”
The Office of the State Prosecutor would like to acknowledge the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maryland State Police, and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their collaboration in this effort.
All individuals who are charged with a criminal offense are presumed to be innocent.
A copy of the charging document can be found here.