Body camera footage has emerged which shows a white Maryland police officer shooting an unarmed black man in the back.
The video shows several officers looking for suspect Rashawn Curbeam after a burglary call at Hindus International Food Market in April. They had already caught and tasered a 15-year-old on the premises and were searching for anyone else who might have been involved.
In the footage, an officer opens the door and shines his light inside before he seems to be startled by Curbeam and fires one shot, which hit Curbeam in the back.
The footage then shows officers rushing to get Curbeam out and to look over his injuries as he is unconscious.
While the city of Laurel said that the shooting was “unintentional,” that is not enough for Curbeam.
“Mr. Curbeam was unarmed, shot in the back and not posing a threat to the officer when he was shot down,” said Curbeam’s lawyer, Patrick Preller, who later added, “We believe the video speaks for itself, and while we understand the Laurel Police Department deems this tragedy an accident, we disagree and believe the video shows otherwise. Police officers are in a unique position of power and authority in our communities; and as such they have a responsibility to be transparent and accountable for their actions.”
“They are specifically trained only to use deadly force when necessary. Deadly force was clearly not necessary in this instance, and even under the most generous interpretation of the officer’s actions in this event, there is no possible interpretation under which the officer’s actions were warranted or should be excused.”