The Washington Post
No charges for officers in Greenbelt shooting
Two police officers who shot and wounded a man in May have returned to full duty and will not be charged for their actions, Greenbelt police said Wednesday.
The city’s police department closed its internal investigation Tuesday and found that the officers’ use of force was “within departmental policy” in the shooting of Kenneth Lee Littlefield, 46, police said in a statement. Littlefield was armed with a knife and reportedly suicidal, according to police.
The department received a letter June 21 from the Prince George’s County state’s attorney’s office indicating the office was declining to prosecute the officers, police said.
Acting sergeant Troy Arnold and Officer Eric Thomas had been placed on paid administrative leave, police said. Prince George’s County police have arrested Littlefield and charged him with assault, having a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, and concealing a dangerous weapon.
Littlefield’s attorney, Peter Fayne, said in a statement Wednesday that the incident shows the need to address the lack of resources for people with mental health issues.
The incident that led to the shooting began about 10:30 a.m. May 2, when police responded to a residence in the unit block of Plateau Place in Greenbelt for a report of a “suicidal adult male,” police said.
The officers’ body-camera footage showed that Littlefield opened the door with a knife in his hand. After repeated commands to drop the knife, Littlefield stepped out of the doorway holding it, and both officers fired, the footage showed. Littlefield was taken to a hospital and later released.
The state’s attorney’s office’s Public Integrity Unit, which handles cases involving police, also reviewed the incident and declined to prosecute the case because “the shooting was legally justified,” State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy (D) said in a statement. An independent use-of-force expert also reviewed the case and found the force justified, she said.