Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — A mother who lost her son at the hands of a Baltimore County cop is hoping a new House bill will keep other parents from dealing with such a loss.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on how training for officers could change.
Christopher Brown, the teenager whose death is at the center of the bill, died of asphyxiation. His family believes if better training were in place, he may be alive today.
Christopher Brown is now the poster child for a bill that would change how often officers must undergo training.
“Believe it or not, over the last year, there have been 18 killings of ordinary citizens by police,” said Delegate Jill Carter.
The bill focuses on improving police training, recertification for life-saving skills, cultural diversity and use of force.
“We’re hoping that enhanced training and also calling attention to the issue will save some lives,” said Carter.
It was June of last year when Baltimore County police officer James Laboard accused 17-year-old Christopher Brown of throwing rocks at his home. Investigators say the officer, who was off-duty at the time, chased Brown down. An altercation followed and the teen died.
The medical examiner ruled his death homicide by asphyxiation.
Brown’s mother believes if the officer knew CPR, her son may still be alive.
“We just believe a lot of lives would be saved because of this legislation,” said mother Chris Brown.
Carter believes boundaries also need to be set for off-duty officers.
“I think that kind of situation where we allow officers to call themselves on duty, we need to take a look at and call into question,” Carter said.
Laboard is now charged with voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
Brown’s mother is confident he will see prison time.
“We know we are going to see justice,” she said.
Laboard’s trial will begin in June. He faces 20 years in prison.