Family members and community groups gathered Sunday in front of Gaithersburg City Hall to demand justice for Kwamena Ocran, the 24-year-old man shot and killed by Gaithersburg Police Department officers during a foot chase earlier this month.
“We need to know what the facts are. We need answers,” one demonstrator said into a microphone.
Police said Ocran was under surveillance by a plain clothes street crime unit when he was killed on Jan. 8, and that he ran from officers when they approached him.
“There’s going to be justice, because I will be Kwamena’s eyes, ears, mouth,” Ocran’s mother, Melody Cooper, said at the demonstration.
Gaithersburg Police Chief Mark Sroka said when officers approached Ocran and identified themselves, he ran across all six lanes of Frederick Avenue and into a nearby apartment complex.
Ocran displayed a gun and was shot, police said. A gun was recovered at the scene, police said.
Maryland House Delegate Gabriel Acevero was among the group of demonstrators who provided a list of demands, including that all officers wear body cameras.
"There has to be transparency, because without transparency, we can't hold corrupt cops accountable," Acevero said.
One man called for an investigation into the street crime unit, because he said, “They remind me too much of the jump-out squads in D.C.”
Demonstrators also called for statewide legislation to provide for more police accountability.
All four officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave. The investigation is being handled by Montgomery County police.
Gaithersburg police said they were aware of the demonstration and appreciated those who voiced their concerns. They asked for patience as the investigation continues.