Fa­ther of man fa­tally shot by po­lice wants an­swers

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL& STATE - By Tess Sheets

The fa­ther of a man shot and killed by Or­lando po­lice in Oc­to­ber raised con­cerns dur­ing a Cit­i­zen’s Re­view Board meet­ing Wed­nes­day over the of­fi­cers’ use of force against his son and their fail­ure to cap­ture the shoot­ing on body cam­eras.

Brian Baker, 33, was fa­tally shot at Or­lando Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter Oct. 1 af­ter po­lice said he told them he had a gun and would shoot who­ever came near him.

None of the three Or­lando of­fi­cers who fired shots had a work­ing body cam­era dur­ing the in­ci­dent, but OPD has said other po­lice at the scene as well as hospi­tal cam­eras did cap­ture the in­ci­dent.

“I feel like the body cam is­sue is a big is­sue in Or­lando right now, and it re­ally needs to be ad­dressed,” said Dar­ren Baker, Brian Baker’s fa­ther, dur­ing the pub­lic com­ment por­tion of the meet­ing. “That’s three views that I needed to see.”

Fol­low­ing the shoot­ing, OPD spokes­woman Michelle Guido said one of­fi­cer who fired shots was a K9 of­fi­cer who was not is­sued a body cam­era. An­other was a pa­trol of­fi­cer who was also a mem­ber of the SWAT team. When he put his SWAT gear over his reg­u­lar uni­form, the cam­era was cov­ered.

The third of­fi­cer had just come off a 12-hour shift and the body cam­era bat­tery was dead.

“That’s an­other ques­tion — an of­fi­cer com­ing off a 12-hour shift with over 20 re­spond­ing units and they choose to have that of­fi­cer ap­proach my son?” Dar­ren Baker said.

Of­fi­cers shot Brian Baker af­ter he made a move to­ward his waist­band, then-Chief John Mina told re­porters. The man was un­armed. “He was a pa­tient in a hospi­tal. He al­legedly made threats; I un­der­stand that. He could have put other peo­ple in dan­ger, I do un­der­stand that,” Dar­ren Baker said. “But at the same time, he had men­tal is­sues, he went to the hospi­tal for help and he didn’t re­ceive it.”

Dar­ren Baker said the agency didn’t con­tact him to of­fer con­do­lences af­ter the shoot­ing.

“It’s like I’ve got the plague,” he said.

“I just want to know why my son’s dead, and I can walk out the door.”

Fol­low­ing Baker’s five-minute al­lot­ted speak­ing time, newly ap­pointed Po­lice Chief Or­lando Rolón — who was also at the meet­ing — stepped out­side the city coun­cil cham­bers with him.

“I wanted to apol­o­gize to him to let him know, ‘Hey, I’m sorry that was the case. Hope­fully that will never hap­pen again,’” Rolón said af­ter the meet­ing.

Rolón said he also ex­plained to Baker the next steps in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and told him he would keep him in­formed of de­vel­op­ments. The case has been handed over to the Florida Depart­ment of Law En­force­ment to re­view and the three of­fi­cers in­volved have been placed on paid ad­min­is­tra­tive leave.

“I told him ev­ery in­di­ca­tion right now is that ev­ery­thing done there was jus­ti­fied, so we have no rea­son to be­lieve that it wasn’t,” Rolón said. to speak

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