Reporting Mike Hellgren
RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ)– Was the use of force during a confrontation that killed a 17-year-old in Randallstown justified? The answer is key in a case involving a Baltimore County police officer. The teen’s viewing was held in Randallstown.
Mike Hellgren has new information on the investigation.
Baltimore County police tell WJZ they train all officers every year on the proper use of force. In this case, no charges have been filed against the officer.
As loved ones prepare to bury 17-year-old Christopher Brown, they have yet to get answers about the altercation with off-duty Baltimore County police officer James Laboard that lead to his death.
Whether Officer Laboard was acting in an official capacity when, authorities say, he chased Brown believing the teen threw something at his door, leading to the fatal confrontation.
Police tell WJZ off-duty officers are authorized to use force when acting to enforce the law to mitigate threats.
“Police officers retain their police powers even when they’re off duty,” Elise Armacost, spokesperson for the Baltimore County Police Department, said.
Officer Laboard’s neighbor– who asked WJZ to conceal her identity– remembers seeing him before the incident.
“He was outside in the driveway here playing basketball with some young fellas. He wasn’t the friendliest person in the world, but I would say hello and goodbye.”
Hellgren: “Had their been any kids causing trouble around here lately?”
Neighbor: “No, there hasn’t been. There hasn’t been. This is really, really a shock for myself, and I know the whole neighborhood. It just doesn’t happen around here.”
The Brown family lawyer says rage and anger had to be the motivators to chase the teenager a third of a mile from where it all started on Susanna Drive in Randallstown.
Brown lived a short distance away and didn’t know the officer, but they are now linked in the ongoing investigation into what really happened.
“All I’m thinking is, he’s wondering what is this guy going to do to me. Did he even identify himself as an off-duty officer,” said Christopher Brown’s mother.
Neither Officer Laboard or his lawyer have commented on the incident.
A memorial fund has been established. Those who wish to contribute can mail their checks to:
Christopher Brown Memorial Fund
Owings Mill, MD 21117
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.