Reporting Derek Valcourt
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — An emotional day in court, as a Baltimore County police officer is tried on manslaughter charges.
Supporters on both sides disrupt the court.
Derek Valcourt has more on the case against Officer James Laboard.
Emotions are still so raw, that the victim’s brother began screaming at the accused officer in court.
When friends of 17-year-old Chris Brown threw a rock at the door of off-duty Baltimore police officer James Laboard’s Randallstown home last June, Laboard ran out and gave chase.
Catching Brown in some brushes, a struggle followed.
“There’s two guys on the front lawn and one of them is laying on the other. He said the other one tried to rob him,” a caller told 911.
While on the phone with 911, a caller ran out to speak to Laboard, who was still restraining Brown.
Caller: “Are you a cadet sir? You’re a police officer? He’s a police officer, an officer needs assistance. He said tell them to please hurry.”
911 Operator: “Is he still on top of the subject?”
Caller: “Yes he is.”
Brown died of asphyxiation. Defense attorneys are trying to convince a jury it was an accident.
As a police training expert testified on Laboard’s use of force, Christopher Brown’s brother began screaming expletives at the officer, saying: “You should have stayed in the house.”
That’s when one of Laboard’s supporters responded, shouting back: “It was [Brown] who should have stayed home.”
Both of them were thrown out of court. Brown family friend Ceandra Scott saw it all.
“This is his brother, his little brother, that he was killed the way he was and he’s been dealing with it for a year,” Scott said. “And then he said what he said. But one thing encouraging about the family and Chris is they’re prayerful. They are extremely spiritual.”
Prosecutors say that Christopher Brown died when that police officer used an unauthorized neck restraint. The defense attorneys are trying to say that Laboard’s use of force was justified.
A jury will now have to decide if that’s the case.
The officer faces charges of manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.