Korryn Gaines Family Proceeds With Lawsuit Against Baltimore County Police
Baltimore County officials and the Gaines family offer conflicting accounts on whether the police acted lawfully in the killing of Korryn Gaines
KWAME ROSE, TRNN: The family of Korryn Gaines, the 23-year-old black mother of two, who was shot by the Baltimore County Police Department in August, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the department and officer first class Ruby, the officer who fired the fatal shot.
J. WYNDAL GORDON: Now many will ask why are we filing this lawsuit when the government hasn’t finished its investigation, when the state’s attorney’s office hasn’t finished their investigation, and when the police haven’t finished their investigation. Well we respond by saying that if we trusted the government and the police department to conduct a proper investigation, then we would’ve waited. However, we don’t leave the results of an investigation in a matter important as this, solely within the hands of the police department. From our investigation it’s that officer Ruby when he shot Ms. Gaines he did not shoot her because he was in fear that she posed a threat to himself or other officers. They had been with Ms. Gaines for approximately 7 hours. He shot Ms. Gaines out of frustration and that is not a legitimate basis for shooting and killing an individual.
ROSE: The Real News attended the police department’s initial press conference days after the events where they gave their accounts of what happened. Police said they arrived on the scene, that they made identification via voice that Korryn Gaines and Kareem Courtney were inside the apartment. The family and the family’s attorneys earlier this week contradict everything that the police department has said because of one man, Ramon Coleman.
REPORTER: What makes you believe that you could succeed with a lawsuit in Baltimore County.
GORDON: Great question. Two words. Ramon Coleman, who was also a victim in this tragedy. Ramon Coleman heard these officers utter I’m sick of this shit.
JAMES JOHNSON: Things are going well. Up and down. There were times when we thought this would come to a peaceful resolution, closure. There were other times that she was highly agitated the entire time throughout the afternoon. She repeatedly would point the weapon at our personnel and [inaud.] firearms discipline throughout those numerous incidents.
RAMON COLEMAN: My condolences goes out to her family and I’m a just make this real short. Should’ve used better tactics to get her out the apartment. No one should die like that under a misdemeanor warrant. That’s all I have to say. Thank you.
ELISE ARMACOST: So you have an apartment. You walk into the apartment then there’s an open area and there was a kitchen. The officers spent the entire time outside, just outside that doorway. They did not cross the threshold into the apartment.
GORDON: Ramon Coleman’s home was commandeered and seized by the Baltimore County Police without his permission, consent or violation. They detained him within his home, told him he couldn’t leave, he was present with his daughter while they brought in all of this equipment, surveillance equipment to monitor Korryn Gaines who was his next door neighbor.
ROSE: Now Baltimore County Police initially say that they were outside of Korryn Gaines house to serve an arrest warrant for not just her but for her fiancé Kareem Courtney.
KAREEM COURTNEY: And you could talk about me, talk about her, it really don’t matter to me but come on, if this was your child, your daughter, your wife, your mother, I guarantee you wouldn’t feel the same way.
JOHNSON: Tried to get the occupants to the front door. They heard a female’s voice. They heard a male’s voice. They heard a crying child inside the apartment.
GORDON: Hearing noises and voices from inside of the house our law says is not enough to satisfy reasonable belief. There must be more.
JOHNSON: In approximately 10 minutes they retrieved a key from apartment management. Turned the locked door open slightly and it was secured by the standard security chain.
GORDON: And the events that flowed there from was the direct and proximate cause of Carriage Hill Apartments offering the police the keys to enter this residence and violate Korryn Gaines constitutional rights.
ROSE: And we also reached out to Baltimore County Police for a statement. Baltimore County Police said they cannot comment on an ongoing litigation.
GORDON: There are a lot of moving parts to this thing. There are first amendment issues. We all know you have the right to record a police officer in the performance of his public duties. You have the right to video record a police officer in the performance of his public duties or her public duties.
CREDO BRADY: It’s not just us, its every family member that has suffered the same fate. Every–we’re all connected. We’re all connected. This is not an isolated incident that just happened in Baltimore County. This is something that’s going on nationwide. Nationwide police reform needs to occur and people need to be held accountable.
ROSE: For continued coverage on Korryn Gaines’s story, the lawsuit, as well as police investigation, stay tuned to the Real News.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a
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