RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — A seven-hour standoff with police ends with a woman dead and a child injured. Police say they were trying to serve an arrest warrant on 23-year-old Korryn Gaines when she barricaded herself and her five-year-old son inside their home. Police say Gaines had a shotgun, and at one point, the officers exchanged gunfire with her. She was shot and killed.
Investigators say Gaines was live streaming parts of the standoff with police. It’s a new phenomenon that’s got some policing experts worried.
Baltimore County police contacted Facebook and asked them to take down the live stream after followers urged Gaines to defy officers, WJZ’s Meghan McCorkell reports.
As SWAT teams and hostage negotiators assembled outside, inside a Randallstown apartment, Korryn Gaines was sending out a live stream of her seven-hour armed standoff on social media.
“Followers were encouraging her not to comply with negotiators’ requests,” said Chief Jim Johnson, Baltimore County Police Department.
Fearing for the safety of Gaines’ five-year-old son, police had Facebook deactivate the page.
“It sounds like they were doing what they were trying to do to de-escalate this, and then you have people trying to make it worse,” said Doug Ward, Johns Hopkins School of Public Safety Leadership.
Ward says he hopes this use of live streaming doesn’t become a trend.
“Maybe in the future there will be some type of jamming device that the police can use just in a small area, and then we’ll have to have a public policy discussion about that,” he said.
Still, experts say that social media has shined a light on cases that may not have gotten much attention–like cell phone video of the killing of Alton Sterling outside a Baton Rouge convenience store last month. He was shot by officers five times in the chest. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is now investigating.
A day later, the girlfriend of Philando Castile live streamed after her boyfriend was shot by police in Minnesota. That case is also under investigation.
“Where there are valid cases of impropriety on the part of the police, those need to be exposed,” Ward said.
Baltimore County police officials say none of the videos from Korryn Gaines’ social media accounts were erased, they were just deactivated.
County police have filed search warrants to admit her social media accounts into evidence.