A Prince George’s County police officer accused of hitting a 13-year-old and holding a gun to his head after stopping him in Capitol Heights in 2011 has been freed from his charges.
During a two-day trial, a circuit court judge found there was not enough evidence and credible testimony to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the officer held a gun to the teen’s head and was unlawful in his actions.
Cpl. Rickie Adey, a 10-year-veteran, was charged with first- and second-degree assault, use of a handgun to commit a violent crime and misconduct in office stemming from an incident with a juvenile he encountered while responding to a call for “shots fired” at the Capitol Courts Apartments on Aug. 3, 2011.
According to prosecutors and police officials, Adey responded to the call and began chasing a group of teens and stopped Kyre Jenkins, 13, as he was trying to scale a 6-foot fence. Jenkins was never charged with as crime that night. He said he heard someone say the police were coming and everyone ran so he followed.
State prosecutor Yvonne Brooks alleged that Adey punched Jenkins in the face three times and held a gun to his head to threaten him after pulling him off the fence.
During trial, Jenkins’ testimony was inconsistent when provided varying accounts of how the incident took place and which part of his head was being targeted by Adey’s firearm.
“I thought I was going to lose my life that very day,” said Jenkins while on the witness stand Wednesday.
Brooks said that while the incident appeared difficult for Jenkins’ to recollect, his testimony has always been that a gun was held to his head.
“The only thing Kyre did wrong that night is that he ran, and the defendant punished him for it,” said Brooks.
Defense attorney David Simpson pointed out that the verdict must be based on the credibility of witnesses and said Jenkins was not credible.
“He couldn’t get the story right,” he told Pearson in closing arguments. “You’d have to say without reservation that you believe Kyre and I just don’t see it in this case.”
Adey acknowledged that his weapon was drawn as a precaution and said he couldn’t see Jenkins’ hands after he was pulled from the fence but said he never punched him or held the gun to his face.
“I’m standing over top of him and had my gun pointed on him and said, ‘Show me your [expletive] hands,’” he said while testifying. “I’ve been put in a lot of situations like this. I didn’t know if he had a weapon since it was a shots fired call.”
Adey said in addition to his county police duties, he works part time as a security officer for the Capitol Courts Apartments and knows the area well.
Defense attorney David Simpson had Capitol Courts Apartments staff testify as character witnesses who spoke highly of Adey and how he interacts with youth at the apartment.
While Adey’s charges have been dismissed, a $5 million civil lawsuit still exists against him. The suit was filed by Jenkins and his family and alleges excessive force and harassment.
Jimmy Bell, an attorney representing Jenkins in the suit, said the outcome of the criminal trial will not affect the civil case.
“O.J. Simpson was found not guilty on all counts. He still had to pay, civilly,” said Bell. “A criminal case is beyond reasonable doubt. A civil case is more likely than not.”