Bal­ti­more Police re­lease body cam­era footage of shoot­ing in­ci­dent

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - BY JULIET LINDERMAN

BAL­TI­MORE | Bal­ti­more Police on Wed­nes­day re­leased body cam­era footage of a shoot­ing that left a man hos­pi­tal­ized af­ter he threat­ened peo­ple with knives at a bus stop.

It was the first time city police re­leased footage that showed of­fi­cers us­ing po­ten­tially lethal force.

The shoot­ing oc­curred Friday morn­ing. The footage, down­loaded from body cam­eras worn by two of­fi­cers, shows them com­mand­ing a man hold­ing two knives in his hands to drop the weapons. When the man re­fuses, one of the of­fi­cers is shown de­ploy­ing a stun gun to no ef­fect. The of­fi­cers then fire their ser­vice weapons.

The man was wounded and re­mained in the hos­pi­tal five days af­ter the shoot­ing, but police say he is ex­pected to sur­vive.

Five of­fi­cers in to­tal re­sponded to the scene, but only two were wear­ing cam­eras.

The Bal­ti­more Police Depart­ment be­gan rolling out a com­pre­hen­sive pro­gram to equip all street of­fi­cers with body-worn cam­eras in July.

Police Com­mis­sioner Kevin Davis said Wed­nes­day that the depart­ment now has “thou­sands and thou­sands of hours” of footage. This, how­ever, is the first time police have cap­tured a use-of-force in­ci­dent with body cam­eras.

The of­fi­cers and the man, who has been iden­ti­fied only as a 48-year-old Bal­ti­more res­i­dent, are all African-Amer­i­can. Au­thor­i­ties iden­ti­fied the of­fi­cers as Gary Brown and Supreme Jones, both as­signed to the North­ern District. They have been placed on rou­tine ad­min­is­tra­tive leave.

Spokesman T.J. Smith said while of­fi­cers were or­der­ing the man to drop his weapons, the man said, “I’ve got one life to live and I’m ready to give it … I did my job.”

The depart­ment is con­sid­er­ing whether to file charges against the man, who has a his­tory of men­tal ill­ness and has made at least one re­cent sui­cide at­tempt. Mr. Smith said he is un­der­go­ing a med­i­cal eval­u­a­tion.

“That’s con­cern­ing to us,” he said. “If men­tal health is the best route to go, we’re go­ing to err on the side of men­tal health rather than crim­i­nal­ity.” Com­mis­sioner Davis agreed.

“Let’s not kid our­selves: There’s a very real men­tal health as­pect that’s very ev­i­dent to us when we sit in the com­fort of our very ster­ile en­vi­ron­ment and watch with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight,” Com­mis­sioner Davis said. “One of the ques­tions I have is, how is some­one who is ap­par­ently suf­fer­ing from a men­tal health cri­sis like that … where along the line out­side of law en­force­ment has that per­son been failed?”

“It con­tin­ues to high­light the ne­ces­sity of men­tal health to be big­ger and broader than just the lo­cal police depart­ment,” the com­mis­sioner said.


In body cam­era footage re­leased on Wed­nes­day, three Bal­ti­more Police of­fi­cers at­tend to a man shot on Mon­day.

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