“A [suburban Baltimore] man was shot dead after pointing his finger as if it was a gun at a police officer who was chasing him for trying to obtain cough syrup with a fake prescription,” theguardian.com reports. It’s not as bad as it sounds, really, provided you’re down with the police version of events. Their initial official statement was a little vague, as you might expect . . .
At about 4:50 p.m. a man walked into the Nature Care pharmacy in the unit block of Main Street, 21136 (Precinct 3/Franklin) and presented a forged prescription. The pharmacist notified police, and an officer promptly responded.
The officer located the suspect in the parking lot outside the pharmacy, and the suspect subsequently led the officer on a foot chase that continued across Main Street and behind businesses on the east side of the street.
A confrontation occurred between the officer and the suspect, and multiple shots were fired. The suspect is deceased, and the officer was not injured. The circumstances remain under investigation by the Homicide Unit.
The follow-up – after word leaked that the perp/vic pointed a “gun finger” at the cops – put some meat on the bones of the story.
Detectives obtained video evidence from nearby businesses that captures the confrontation. The footage shows the suspect aggressively advancing on a single officer, who retreats with his gun drawn. The footage shows the suspect reaching around to the small of his back and abruptly whipping his hand around and pointing it toward the officer, as if with a weapon. The officer fires his weapon as the suspect swiftly brings his hand forward from his waistband. On the ground, the suspect refuses to comply and keeps reaching into his waistband, as if for a weapon.
Witnesses told detectives that they heard the officer repeatedly giving the suspect commands to “stop,” and that they heard the suspect shouting profanities at the officer.
The state Medical Examiner has confirmed that the suspect — transported to Northwest Hospital, where he was declared deceased — was shot three times. Three shots were fired, police have confirmed.
A weapon was not found.
Judge not lest ye be judged, as they say. But really . . . provided we’re not talking about close quarters combat, shouldn’t cops have to actually see a weapon before shooting someone? Just thought I’d point that out. Cough.