BODYCAM: Baltimore Officers Shoot Man Wielding Knives

It remains to be seen whether BPD's attempts at full transparency will win over critics

By Calibre Press  |   Dec 1, 2016

The incident shown in the body camera footage unfolded Friday morning in North Baltimore when a woman called 911 from her car describing a man wielding knives while yelling at people and beating on a pole and the sidewalk. When officers arrived they found a man pacing outside a theatre and restaurant. He carried two green knives and was yelling incoherent statements. Five officers arrived, including two who were equipped with body cameras. Both turned them on as they stepped out of their patrol cars and approached the suspect.

Repeatedly, police can be heard telling the man to drop his weapons. Police spokesman T.J. Smith said the man was told 10 times to drop the knives. The man can be heard saying, “I have one life to live and I’m ready to give it.” As police moved in, one of the officers with a body camera raised his Taser, warned the suspect he was about to fire and does so. At about the same time, gunshots rang out from other officers, who missed the suspect. It was not clear if the Taser struck him, but the blasts did nothing to stop him and he continued to pace.

A few seconds after officers again told him to drop his weapons, they fired multiple gunshots and the man fell down. Officers cuffed the man’s hands and began administering resuscitation.”Keep breathing buddy,” they can be heard saying, as an officer repeatedly conducted chest compressions and asked for a mask to blow air into the man’s air passages.

The man, who was shot multiple times, remains at an area hospital in stable condition, police said. Police have equipped about 600 officers with cameras since May after the city approved spending $11.6 million over five years to issue all officers with cameras by 2018.

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