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Keyword: randallstown

BCoPD is sharing the text of its response to an August 15, 2016 letter from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. re: the August 1 police-involved shooting of Korryn Gaines. The response is addressed to Sherrilyn A. Ifill, President and Director-Counsel; and Monique L. Dixon, Deputy Director of Policy and Senior Counsel, authors of the August 15 letter.

The response, sent today, is provided here in its entirety:


The Baltimore County Police Department has received your August 15, 2016 letter seeking additional information about the police investigation involving Korryn Gaines. Despite the fact that the investigation is ongoing, we are attempting to address questions and clarify information related to this incident.

This is an ongoing police investigation; accordingly, some information you have requested is not available for release at this time. The Baltimore County Police Department considers transparency essential to the public trust. We held a press briefing about three hours after the conclusion of the August 1 incident and a follow-up briefing on August 2, less than 24 hours after the initial briefing. Further, we have published the information we are able to release at this time to the agency’s website and social media platforms for public access and viewing. These actions demonstrate that we fully understand the public’s need for and right to answers about such incidents. We continue to respond to individual questions from media, citizens and public officials, recognizing that information is key to building confidence and trust.

Finally, please understand that an investigation is a process of information gathering over time. All of the facts and circumstances of an investigation are not known, fixed, readily able to be gathered, and available at the conclusion of an incident or even hours afterward; if this were the case, there would be no need for an investigation. The very nature of the investigative process is such that information evolves over time as interviews are conducted, statements are vetted, physical evidence is examined and facts are gathered. We are committed to providing new information as soon as we are able (and have done just that over the past two weeks) as long as doing so has no deleterious effect on the ongoing investigation. We apologize if these updates – made in the interests of transparency – have confused any of the issues for you.

I will address each of your questions in the order in which you pose them.

1.      Re: audio recordings, we are in the process of reviewing and transcribing tapes of four radio channels used by patrol and specialized personnel during the incident. These include a Hostage Negotiations Team channel and a Tactical channel.

There are no audiotapes of the conversation between Gaines and negotiators because Maryland law (Courts and Judicial Proceedings, Section 10-402, of the Annotated Code) allows recordings only during barricades involving hostages. Kodi Gaines was not a hostage in this incident because – while police had serious concerns for his safety due to his mother’s erratic and unusual behavior – he was not used as leverage to fulfill a demand.

Re: body cameras, during the August 1 and 2 press briefings we advised that none of the officers “involved in the direct conflict at this incident site” were equipped with body cameras. That is accurate. On August 4, we learned of and informed the public of the existence of body camera video filmed by officers stationed on the outside perimeter of the incident in support roles; this footage does not capture events inside the apartment building. This video will not be released at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

Information about deployment plans for BCoPD’s body camera program is available on our website, http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/police/bodycameras/index.html. The body camera program began during the first week of July. To date, 60 officers (out of 1,435 who eventually will wear them) have been equipped. The 60 cameras are deployed equally between the 10 precincts and the Crash Team.

2.      A copy of Baltimore County Police Field Manual Article 4-3.2, Serving Arrest Warrants in Baltimore County, is attached.

3.      We continue to withhold the names of the officers involved in this incident because of the ongoing investigation and due to safety concerns.  A copy of the pertinent section of our Memorandum of Understanding with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4 is attached.

Three officers participated in the service of the warrant on Gaines. All three are Officers First Class. They have 28, 21 and six years of service.
  
4.      As we have stated in our briefings and written updates and based on information available at this point in the investigation, the turning point of this confrontation occurred when Gaines lifted her Mossberg pistol grip shotgun to a ready position and aimed it at the tactical officer. Ms. Gaines threatened to kill police officers during the standoff. We continue the investigation of the specific circumstances of the shooting. No additional information is available for release at this time.

5.      BCoPD conducts an administrative review of officer-involved shootings; this involves a review of procedures and policies relevant to the incident. Disciplinary action in this case, if appropriate, would follow completion of this review. 

6.      The tactical officer remains assigned to administrative duties at this time. Upon completion of the police investigation of the incident, the Baltimore County State’s Attorney will engage in an independent review.

We sincerely hope this resolves your concerns. Again, we are committed to providing as much information as possible, as soon as possible, while preserving a fair and thorough investigation of the facts of this incident.

Kareem Courtney -- the boyfriend of Korryn Gaines, fatally shot by police Monday after she pointed a shotgun at and threatened to kill a tactical officer during a barricade in the unit block of Sulky Court -- was charged today with distributing heroin from the Sulky Court apartment.

Homicide detectives found the heroin during execution of a search warrant at the apartment; this was part of their criminal investigation of the police-involved shooting. Three bags containing 75 capsules of an off-white substance -- later determined through forensic examination to be heroin -- were found in the kitchen. The heroin totaled 26.7 grams.

Police also recovered the Mossberg pistol grip shotgun Gaines used to assault the tactical officer, as well as numerous shotgun shells.

Courtney, 39, of the unit block of Sulky Court, faces nine charges including: Possession of a narcotic with intent to distribute; possession of a Schedule I narcotic; maintenance of a common nuisance; possession of paraphernalia; and five firearms charges.

Courtney is disqualified from owning or having access to firearms and ammunition because of his previous criminal record. He was convicted of attempted murder in 1996 and sentenced to eight years. He also has prior convictions for drug distribution and firearms violations.

Courtney is held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Courtney was in the Sulky Road apartment with Gaines Monday morning when police went to serve warrants on each of them; Courtney's warrant was for second-degree assault, and Gaines' was a failure to appear bench warrant for traffic violations -- including resisting arrest -- incurred during a March 10 traffic stop. Courtney was arrested Monday when he left the apartment minutes after the warrant service officers announced their presence. Gaines refused to leave and, armed with the shotgun, remained inside with her five-year-old son in a barricade that lasted about seven hours.

Update, August 5, 5 p.m.:

As a result of an additional medical procedure performed today at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore County Police believe that a round fired by a tactical officer struck Kodi Gaines, the five-year-old who suffered non life-threatening injuries in Monday’s police-involved shooting in Randallstown.

Police confirm that the officer aimed at and struck Korryn Gaines, 23, the boy’s mother, after she aimed her Mossberg shotgun at him and threatened to kill him.

Additional forensics tests will be conducted on the recovered round.

The injury from which the round was recovered is to the boy's left cheek and is consistent with BCoPD's previous confirmation that he suffered a wound to an extremity and shrapnel wounds to the upper body.

The investigation is active and ongoing. No further information is available at this time. Additional information will be provided as it become available.

Original release, August 4:


The investigation of the August 1 Korryn Gaines shooting in Randallstown continues. The Homicide Unit conducts an independent criminal investigation of all police-involved shootings; that investigation is in progress. An administrative review -- conducted for all police-involved shootings -- also remains  in progress.

After those investigations are complete, the case will be turned over to the Office of the State's Attorney for review. BCoPD's Shooting Review Board, which reviews all police-involved shootings, will examine the case for compliance with agency standards.

BCoPD offers the following updates:

  • Police Chief Jim Johnson has decided that -- because of serious safety concerns -- the department will not at this time release the name of the officer who fatally shot Gaines. BCoPD has received an unprecedented number of threats against police, including threats and actions against specific officers and officials.

    Gaines' ideology, consistent with anti-government sentiment, is also a concern. While Gaines does not appear to have been actively  affiliated with any specific anti-government group, she identified and behaved as a "free person" who does not recognize governmental authority.

    Johnson said the current national climate is a third significant factor in his decision to withhold the officer's name at this time. The recent Dallas and Baton Rouge shootings, he said, show that "lone wolf" attacks by people emotionally caught up in current events are a real possibility. "We constantly balance the need for transparency with the need to protect investigations and safety. This is a situation where I feel we must err on the side of safety."

    BCoPD's standard procedure is to release the names of officers involved in shootings about 48 hours after the incident. This complies with terms of an agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4, which specifies the delay to give officers and their families times to cope with the situation.
  • BCoPD has not yet determined whether the five-year-old, Kodi Gaines, was struck by a round and/or shrapnel from the officer's weapon or Gaines' Mossberg shotgun. They have not yet determined where the child was at the time of the shooting. These issues remain under investigation. This information will be provided when it becomes available.
  • Chief Johnson has completed a legal review of the entry by warrant service officers into Gaines' apartment in the unit block of Sulky Court. After consultation the State's Attorney and law enforcement attorneys, BCoPD has confirmed that the legal requirements for entry to serve an arrest warrant were met.
  • After multiple reviews, BCoPD has confirmed that there is no body camera footage filmed from inside the apartment or apartment building. (BCoPD's body camera program is less than a month old, and only about 40 of the 1,900 officers in the agency currently are equipped with them.) There is body camera footage from several officers assigned to support roles on the outside perimeter of the incident. This footage is part of the investigation and will not be released at this time.
  •  There are no audiotapes of the negotiations with Gaines.  In Maryland, the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 10-402 of the Annotated Code allows recording only in hostage situations. The child, Kodi Gaines, was not a hostage in this incident; the FBI defines "hostage" as a person held to fulfill a demand, and a threat of harm unless the demand is met. Though Kodi Gaines was not a hostage, police were concerned for his safety because of his mother's unusual erratic behavior; i.e., engaging police in an armed barricade with a five-year-old at her side and wielding a firearm in the vicinity of the child.
 
 

Revised June 28, 2016