RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ)– Those who knew star high school athlete Christopher Brown are demanding answers one week after he died in an altercation with an off-duty Baltimore County officer. That officer has not been charged with any crime.
Monique Griego joined Brown’s family and friends as they gathered to honor him.
An outpouring of emotions as Brown’s family and friends gathered at Randallstown High School. It was on the football field that the 17-year-old excelled before being killed last week during an altercation with an off-duty Baltimore County police officer.
“He was just a great kid, infectious smile, great heart,” Tashea Hamilton, Brown’s family friend, said.
The medical examiner ruled Brown’s death homicide by asphyxiation but the officer, James Laboard, hasn’t been arrested or charged.
“It’s a lot different than what normally happens because we as citizens, we don’t get 10 to 20 days to put a statement together and respond to allegations brought against us,” Russell A. Neverdon, an attorney for Brown’s family, said.
The county executive spoke out for this first time on Thursday about the investigation.
“I have met extensively with Police Chief [James W.] Johnson and State’s Attorney Shellenberger, and they have assured me there will be a thorough investigation. They will be fair and impartial,” Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said.
But many are expressing outrage over what happened comparing it to the Trayvon Martin case.
“Ain’t no consequences for taking a black life. Stop hiding it, stop hiding the truth from our children,” a loved one said.
Brown’s mother was too upset to speak and loved ones say this vigil was to celebrate his life and help his family let go of some of the pain he left behind.
“The guy was so young. He didn’t even reach his full potential in life,” David Hamilton, Brown’s family friend, said.
The Fraternal Order of Police and the lawyer representing Officer Laboard had no comment.
Police have yet to answer questions about the training and policies for officers when off duty and whether this incident has spurred any changes.
A memorial fund has been established. Those who wish to contribute can mail their checks to:
Christopher Brown Memorial Fund
Owings Mill, MD 21117
There will be a public viewing on Friday at Vaughn Greene funeral Home in Randallstown from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Their address is: 8728 Liberty Road Randallstown, MD 21133. Phone Number: 410-655-0015.
Brown’s funeral is Saturday at the Colonial Baptist Church, 9411 Liberty Road, Randallstown, MD 21133. There will be a wake from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The funeral begins at 10 a.m. The phone number for the church is 410-655-1080.