police shooting

Investigators Release Video From Fatal Police Shooting in Silver Spring

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Investigators released graphic video of a fatal police shooting last month in Montgomery County.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 29, police shot 27-year-old Osman Sesay of Silver Spring. Investigators say he had a gun.

The Maryland Attorney General's Independent Investigations Division released the dashboard camera and body camera video Wednesday as part of its review of the shooting.

Police were first called to a shooting that injured a man in the 900 block of Bonifant Street at about 4:15 a.m., after an off-duty officer heard gunshots, the Montgomery County Police Department said.

That victim, a man, was taken to a hospital. Police believe he was not armed and knew his shooter.

The off-duty officer had noted a white Mercedes-Benz vehicle near the shooting scene and passed along the description to other officers, police said.

Police looking for the suspect's vehicle pulled someone over at Dartmouth and Wayne avenues, a residential intersection less than a mile from the earlier shooting, police said. The vehicle was the one reportedly involved in the shooting, and there were three people inside, police said.

Dashboard camera video shows the driver follow police commands and turn off the engine and put their hands outside the window.

Almost three seconds later, the video shows a man emerge from the back seat and raise his arm. Police opened fire.

Sesay was struck and died at the scene, police said.

Investigators say the video shows a gun in Sesay’s hand. Investigators did recover a handgun at the scene.

The two other people in the car, a man and woman, were taken into custody for questioning.

No officers were injured, a police spokesperson said. Four officers involved are on administrative leave as the Maryland Attorney General's office investigates.

Sesay was charged with attempted first-degree murder in 2018 but was acquitted. He sued the department and won a six-figure settlement.

The Independent Investigations Division was recently created within the Maryland Attorney General’s Office and is tasked with independently investigating police shootings.

"To the extent possible, investigations should be done by disinterested investigators, by people who don’t have an existing relationship," Independent Investigations Division Chief Dana Mulhauser said.

While Mulhauser cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, she did offer insight into the work the unit does and why its independence is so valuable for the public.

“It’s important, I think, for us to let people know that we don’t work for the police department and we are not a police department when we do those investigations," she said.

“I think a lot of law enforcement offices realize that having an independent investigation can be an asset to them for folks to know that when these things are looked at, they are looked at independently and separately,” she added.

Releasing the video is the second step of a four-step process. Having released the names of the officers and now the video, investigators will create a final report, which does not include any prosecutorial recommendations. Finally, the report is made public.

While Mulhauser’s unit is handling the police shooting investigation, Montgomery County police continue to investigate the shooting on Bonifant Street.

Correction (Jan. 13, 2022 12:47 p.m.): Our video report showed an incorrect image of Osman Sesay. It has been replaced with the correct image.

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