(LARGO, MARYLAND – February 22, 2022) – Yesterday, Murphy Firm attorneys William H. “Billy” Murphy, Jr. and Malcolm P. Ruff announced the filing of a sweeping Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit against Prince George’s County, Maryland and Corporal Bryant J. Strong of the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) for viciously slamming Demonte Ward-Blake (pictured above) on his face in October of 2019, knocking him unconscious, breaking his nose, causing him multiple neck fractures, as
well as traumatic disc herniation, and traumatic spinal cord flattening that rendered him a virtual quadriplegic for the rest of his life.

The lawsuit is a comprehensive indictment of the brutal, racist, unlawful, and unchecked patterns and practices of the PGPD over the last 50 years. The complaint alleges in detail that Prince George’s County Government is directly responsible for Demonte’s catastrophic injuries because they have consistently and remarkably ignored the widespread use of excessive force by its police officers for decades. The suit highlights numerous past instances of publicized PGPD brutality, settlements and verdicts against the County for excessive force, and internal oversight policies that police department leaders failed to follow which ultimately led to Demonte’s brutal attack.

These allegations paint a tragic picture: over the course of numerous leadership cycles, Prince George’s County government has failed to solve the most important problems in their police department because they simply did not care enough to protect the rights of its citizens. As a result, Cpl. Strong and numerous other PGPD officers were permitted to remain on patrol despite their previous uses of excessive force.

“We filed this lawsuit because the fundamental problems of policing have not been solved since the beginning of its existence on the planet. Only recently has our state legislature comprehensively begun to address these problems, and unfortunately, lawsuits remain the most powerful tool to compel local governments to act with urgency in implementing adequate reform,” said Mr. Murphy of the lawsuit.

“Because of the catastrophic, pervasive, and devastating nature of Demonte’s injuries, we will be asking a jury to award an equivalent amount for damages on his behalf against the County as compensation for the living hell he suffered for 653 days solely based upon this County’s complete indifference towards his black life that mattered”, he further stated.

“In addition, we will also be seeking punitive damages against Cpl. Strong for his utterly malicious brutality.” Ruff continued, “Addressing police misconduct is one of the key reasons the Murphy Firm was founded. We will never back down from this core mission in the face of this type of flagrant police violence directed at black and brown people.”

Press conference participants included:
• William H. “Billy” Murphy, Jr. – Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, Senior Partner
• Malcolm Ruff – Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, Trial Attorney
• Rena Ward – Mother of Demonte Ward-Blake
• Belinda Blake – Grandmother of Demonte Ward-Blake
• Kema Hutchinson-Harris – Community Justice, Co-Founder
• Nikki Owens – Justice for William Green Foundation
• Nia 2X – National Action Network
• NAACP Prince George’s County Branch

About Murphy, Falcon & Murphy
Murphy, Falcon & Murphy is a Baltimore-based law firm specializing in complex civil, criminal, and civil rights
litigation. Our powerhouse legal team has a history of unrelenting dedication to its clients in Baltimore and across
the country. Our team of seasoned trial lawyers has extensive experience in a wide variety of cases with success
rates that dwarf national averages and is dedicated to providing smart strategies and creative approaches to
complex litigation. Our team is driven and strategy-focused —characteristics that have helped us secure more than
$900 million in verdicts and settlements, including over $75 Million in police cases throughout the country. Our
attorneys have won some of the largest verdicts in high-profile, high-stakes cases in some of the toughest
jurisdictions around the country. The firm represented Freddie Gray, Jr. and William H. Green, achieving historic
settlements of $6.4 million and $20 million, respectively, for federal and state civil rights violations that led to their

*Each case is different. Past success does not guarantee a favorable result in any future case.