The declination report reviews the actions of a citizen fatality on the 6300 block of York Road
Baltimore (July 20, 2020) - Today, the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office (BCSAO) released a declination report regarding an incident that took place at the 6300 block of York Road on October 30, 2019.
The BCSAO review was conducted by the office’s Public Trust and Police Integrity Unit (PTPIU) and focused exclusively on determining whether criminal charges relating to the officer’s conduct were warranted. PTPIU’s review did not examine issues such as the officer’s compliance with internal policies and procedures, his training or tactics, or any issues related to civil liability; however, internal policies and procedures and training are factors that were considered in evaluating the officer’s conduct. This report should not be interpreted as expressing any opinions on non-criminal matters. As detailed below, when all available evidence is considered, the Involved Officer’s actions did not rise to the level of criminal conduct. The Baltimore City State’s Attorney, therefore, declines to pursue criminal charges in this matter. A brief synopsis of the incident is located below:
On October 30, 2019 at around 9:30 a.m., Detective #1 of the Regional Auto Theft Task Force alerted the Northern District that a vehicle suspected of being associated with a robbery had passed through a license plate reader in the area of Woodbourne Ave. and York Rd. The vehicle, described as a dark colored 2012 Chevrolet Impala, was used in conjunction with an armed robbery inside the Horseshoe Casino Garage.
At around 9:40 a.m., the Involved Officer conducted a canvas of the area near the 6300 Block of York Road where he identified the Chevrolet Impala with matching license plate parked at a Rite Aid pharmacy. The Involved Officer then approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and conducted a pat-down of the driver and asked for his name and driver’s license.
The Involved Officer radioed that he had made contact with the driver and, while waiting for further instruction, he asked the Involved Citizen to sit in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. The Involved Citizen overheard the instructions on the radio that both citizen and the vehicle were to be detained. At this point in time, the Involved Citizen grabbed a hidden .22 Smith and Wesson automatic handgun and stood up and pushed through the Involved Officer in an attempt to flee. The Involved Officer then tried to tackle the Involved Citizen and a struggle ensued on the ground.
During that time, the Involved Citizen was seen on CCTV with a handgun in his hand. As the Involved Officer continued to struggle, Officer #2 arrived in his patrol car. Officer #2 exited his vehicle and ran to where the Involved Officer was struggling with the Involved Citizen to assist. According to a civilian witness, the Involved Citizen attempted to reach for an officer’s service pistol. Officers discharged three rounds during the struggle and were finally able to detain the Involved Citizen. The Involved Citizen received wounds to his chest and shoulder. He was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment but succumbed to his injuries.
Officer #2 and the Involved Officer received light injuries as a result of the struggle. Officer #2 also had a chipped tooth. No civilian bystanders were hurt during the incident.
The State's Attorney's Office is committed to transparency, accountability and one standard of justice for all. Where an officer is accused of excessive or inappropriate use of force, the State's Attorney's Office releases case summaries, which explain the agency’s legal rationale for not pressing charges against the accused officer(s), as well as supporting evidence and documentation for the declination to charge.