TEMPLE HILLS, Md. (AP/WJZ) — A man, who was handcuffed with his arms behind his back by police in Maryland, was shot and killed inside an officer’s cruiser.
Prince George’s County police officers responded Monday night to reports that a driver had struck multiple vehicles near the Temple Hills community, spokeswoman Christina Cotterman told news outlets during a news conference.
When officers located the driver, they smelled PCP and believed the man was under the influence, Cotterman said.
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The suspect was buckled into the front passenger seat of the vehicle, which Cotterman said is normal for Prince George’s County police. The officer then got into the driver’s seat.
Two independent witnesses told police they either saw or heard a struggle, and heard loud bangs coming from the cruiser, according to Cotterman.
The man was shot multiple times by the officer’s service weapon, the police spokeswoman said. Officers performed life-saving measures and took the man to a hospital. He died a short time later.
Police haven’t publicly identified the suspect because family members had not yet been notified.
The shooting wasn’t caught on body-camera video because the officer didn’t have one, Cotterman said. Investigators were looking for surveillance cameras in the area that may have recorded the shooting.
The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave. Cotterman said the officer was expected to be identified Tuesday.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy issued this statement in regards to the police-involved shooting.
“I cannot speak directly about last night’s events because it involves an ongoing investigation. However, we are obtaining information and my office will conduct a thorough and independent investigation. As we have demonstrated in the past, we will seek truth, and will vigorously pursue justice in a way that is fair and responsible. Once we have received all information and completed our own investigation and analysis, I assure you that my office will be transparent and accountable to the public about our findings and how we will move forward.”
Deborah Jeon, legal director for the the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, said in statement Tuesday that there is no reason for an officer to shoot a handcuffed suspect multiple times inside a patrol car. Jeon called it “completely unacceptable” that Prince George’s County’s police department doesn’t equip all its officers with body cameras.
“These deaths are completely preventable,” Jeon said. “Police characterize them as unavoidable, but they are not. And body camera footage will show that.”
Police later identified the man killed as William Green.
PGPD Clp. Michael Owen was charged in Green’s death.
Once again, a Black man – William Green – has been killed needlessly by officers with the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD), this time in Temple Hills, MD. It is completely unacceptable. #BlackLivesMatter #PGCounty
— ACLU of Maryland (@ACLU_MD) January 28, 2020
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