A grand jury declined to indict four Maryland police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man in January, deciding the officers acted lawfully.
Kwamena Ocran was killed in a Jan. 8 shooting involving four Gaithersburg Police Department officers. The 24-year-old had been under surveillance by the plainclothes street crime unit. Police say when they approached him, he ran, and when he pointed a gun at officers they fired.
Prosecutors said they found no physical evidence Ocran fired the gun. Only casings from the officers’ weapons were recovered.
“The officers indicate that they were shot at,” said Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson, whose office handles investigations of use-of-force deaths in Montgomery County. “We could not, by review of the crime scene and evidence we had, determine definitively that they were shot at. Not to say that they weren’t shot at, but rather we couldn’t say that they definitively were.”
Prosecutors released a crime scene photo they say is the gun Ocran had in his possession.
The officers involved said he fired the gun and they fired back in fear for their lives.
Prosecutors confirm officers shot Ocran seven or eight times and two of the shots were to the left side of his back.
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Because the officers were undercover, they were not wearing body cameras.
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Prosecutors decided to let the grand jury comprised of 23 Montgomery County residents decide if the officers had committed a crime.
Ocran’s mother, Melody Cooper, plans to take her fight to court through a civil lawsuit.
“This mother is going to continue to fight to make my voice heard and demand justice for my son,” she said.
The officers remain on administrative leave.