Civic News
Crime / Media

Body-worn camera footage shows Baltimore police shooting

It's the first time a video of an officer using potentially lethal force has been released since police started wearing body cameras.

Still from the body-worn camera footage of a Nov. 25, 2016, officer-involved shooting in Baltimore. (Image via the Baltimore Police Department)

Body-worn camera footage released on Wednesday showed an incident in which Baltimore police officers shot a man.
The video (Warning: Graphic) from two body cameras shows a Nov. 25 incident in which police shot a man wielding two knives at the corner of 33rd and Greenmount Ave. in Waverly.
Following a 911 call in which a woman reported that the man was “getting up in people’s face,” the footage shows the dramatic scene that played out when police arrived and found the man under a theater marquee. Police officers surrounded the man and order him to drop the knives, 10 times in total. At one point, he said, “I’ve got one life to live and I’m ready to give it.”
One officer moved in and told the man he was going to deploy a Taser. He then did, but police said it had no effect. At about that same time, officers fired two gunshots, which missed the man. The 48-year-old man dressed in black then begins to move back-and-forth with a knife in each outstretched hand, shouting. Officers Gary Brown and Supreme Jones then fired the shots that wound the man. He fell to the ground, and blood was visible on the sidewalk.
The edited video cuts to another segment where the officers, including one who is wearing a body camera, are acting to revive the man. “Keep breathing, buddy,” the officer said. The man is still in treatment at a hospital, but is in stable condition, police spokesman T.J. Smith said Wednesday.
Police said the man has a history of mental illness. That led Davis to a larger question.
“How is someone who is apparently suffering from a mental health crisis out like that?” Davis asked. “Where along the line, outside of law enforcement, has the person been failed?”
The footage is the first to be released that shows an officer using force since Baltimore began outfitting 600 police officers with body cameras in June. That followed a pilot and bidding process by city government. Cameras are slated to be phased in by 2018. At a time when citizen videos that have challenged police narratives of incidents in which people died,  like that of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, body-worn cameras are seen as a way to provide a view of what happened. When police have footage, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said they will share it.
“With transparency comes responsibility, and it’s our responsibility to identify critical incidents like this, particularly when deadly force is used, and to share it with our community,” Davis said Wednesday.
While the video largely confirms the description of the incident given by police, questions remain about the officers’ actions. Reporters asked, for instance, whether police should’ve fired and gun and Taser at the same time, but Deputy Commissioner Jason Johnson was unwilling to make any pronouncements until the investigation into the incident is complete.
“It’s very tempting to take a video and in and of itself draw a lot of conclusions from just the video. The video is merely part of the investigation that includes a lot of things,” he said.

Companies: Baltimore Police Department

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, Technical.ly has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services
Engagement

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!

Trending

Major state funding boost means more Maryland college students can get tech internships

Cal Ripken Jr. essay: The MLB legend explains his drive to build STEM centers in schools across the nation

The end of software as technology

From quantum to biotech, meet this year’s Maryland Tech Council ICON nominees

Technically Media