NAACP Wants Feds to Probe Shooting by Police

Published November 2, 2009

The NAACP of Charles County, Md., near Washington, D.C., wants the U.S. government to look into the shooting death of a 44-year-old Black man by two police officers last month.

On Oct. 2, two Charles County Sheriff’s officers shot and killed an unarmed Cornelius Maurice Warren after pulling him over in Pisgah, Md., The Washington Post reports.

"You should not be killed when you get pulled over for speeding," said F. Scott Lucas, the attorney for the Warren family. The family will file a lawsuit but has not decided whether it will be in federal or state court, he noted.

Police say that after stopping Warren they found a large quantity of marijuana in the vehicle in which Warren and an unidentified person rode. There was a struggle, and Warren tried to grab an officer's gun, according to police. Two of the three officers at the scene fired 11 times, police said.

The officers involved in the incident – Stephen Miller, 39, a three-year veteran; Eric Leukhardt, 35, an 11-year vet; and John Freeman, 36, a 10-year veteran – are on administrative leave, police said.

"We strongly believe the shooting was aggravated by the officer himself," said William Braxton, president of the Charles NAACP.  Braxton said, too, that just because Warren was an ex-offender does not mean “he should be treated differently."

Braxton and other NAACP members, who say they saw the officer's dashboard camera video, want it be released to the public. They said they cannot reveal what the video shows because there is an ongoing investigation.

"If the public could gets ahold of the dash-cam video, it would answer a lot of questions," Braxton said.

Diane Richardson, a Charles County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said in a statement: "While we understand the family's desire for immediate answers, there is a judicial process . . . which we must follow to ensure a fair and impartial investigation."

Written by BET.com Staff

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