Prince George’s police corporal Michael Owen Jr. has been charged with murder after reportedly shooting and killing a man in his police cruiser. He was charged within 24 hours of the shooting.
According to the Washington Post, there is no body camera footage and not all of the details are public. However, the victim William Greene, 43, was driving home from dinner on Monday, Jan. 27 and police were called to the scene due to a traffic accident. “Witnesses told officers at the scene that Greene, who was in a parked car, had struck their vehicle. The officers who approached Greene believed he might have been under the influence of a substance” The Washington Post reports the police as saying.
Greene was handcuffed, put in the front passenger seat of a cruiser and soon after he was allegedly shot seven times by officer Owen, who is Black, at close range while in his seatbelt. Greene, who is also Black, was a Megabus luggage loader, the father of two adult children and attended the Temple of Praise Church in Southeast Washington.
Owen has been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and associated weapons charges. Additionally, it is not clear how accurate the initial police report is. Police Chief Hank Stawinski said in a statement, “I am unable to come to our community this evening and offer you a reasonable explanation for the events that occurred last night.”
He continued, “I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime.”
The Washington Post also reports Stawinski as saying, “PCP does not appear to have been involved and he could not corroborate an account by witnesses of a struggle in the cruiser.”
This isn’t the only shooting for Owen. He reportedly fatally shot a 35-year-old man in 2011 after officials claimed he was threatened him with a weapon. In 2009, which is when he joined the force, according to the Washington Post, Owen alleged a person attempted to rob him when he was off-duty, who he also shot, but the robber fled, according to police.
Our thoughts go out to the family of William Greene.
(Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)