PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (WJLA/CNN) - A former Maryland police officer is seeking a pardon from President Donald Trump after serving a 10-year prison sentence for ordering her K-9 to bite and hold a suspect.
Stephanie Mohr, a former Prince George’s County Police officer, was the subject of protests 20 years ago, as she walked into federal court to face sentencing. At the time, the entire police agency was under federal scrutiny.
Five years earlier, in 1995, Mohr ordered her K-9 officer to bite and hold a suspect, who was allegedly fleeing the scene after trying to break into a building. The suspect was captured. The bite wound on his calf needed stitches.
Mohr defends her actions to this day. She has always claimed she was only doing her job.
"I had to make a decision, a decision to use a certain amount of force during an arrest, and that decision has had catastrophic consequences,” she said.
A jury determined that Mohr’s actions were unlawful. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She had a 2-year-old son.
"He was the only thing that was in my mind," she said.
Mohr served her time but remains bitter. She is speaking publicly for the first time in nearly a decade because she hopes to win a presidential pardon, with the assistance of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.
"We believe very firmly that she was wrongfully convicted, that she was charged to pursue a political end that the Justice Department, at the time, needed to pursue against Prince George's County, and she became a scapegoat," said Jason Johnson with the legal fund.
Even though she is out of prison, Mohr says she continues to be punished. She hopes Trump hears her story and rights what she has always viewed as a wrong.
“The conviction follows you around. It invades every aspect of your life, personal and professional,” she said. “Nothing has gone my way. Nothing has worked, and this is the last logical step.”