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Maryland officer charged with murder after he shoots a handcuffed suspect
Maryland officer charged with murder after he shoots a handcuffed suspect
Photo Credit: Twitter

Maryland Officer Charged With Murder After He Shoots a Handcuffed Suspect

This is not the first time the Prince George Department office Michael Owen Jr., who is Black has fatally shot someone.

A Maryland police officer was charged with murder on Tuesday after fatally shooting a suspect

According to ABC, Prince George County Police Department officer Michael Owen Jr. , who is Black was charged with second-degree murder. This move was swift and it followed the death of 43-year-old William Green who was handcuffed in the front seat of the officer’s cruiser. His hands were reportedly behind his back. 

Owen, a corporal is a 10-year veteran of the force. He allegedly fired seven shots at Green after arresting him in Temple Hills, Maryland. The shooting took place at about 8 p.m. as Owen and an unidentified second officer were responding to a call about Green slamming his vehicle into parked cars, according to the police. A New York Times report notes that Green was suspected of being under the influence of an unknown substance.

The officers were said to have been waiting for an additional officer to arrive at the scene to evaluate Green for drugs when Corporal Owen opened fire. At one point before the shooting occurred Owen got into the driver’s seat of the cruiser beside Green. Prince George County Police Chief Hank Stawinski has stated that the “unprecedented” events that took place in Owen’s car Monday night required an unprecedented response. 

He also said, “I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime. There are no circumstances under which this outcome is acceptable.”

ABC reports that Owen and the unidentified second officer removed Green from the cruiser and provided aid until the medics arrived. He was then transported to a local hospital where he passed shortly after his arrival. 

This isn’t the first time the officer has fatally shot someone, in 2011 he shot and killed Rodney Edwards in Palmer Park. WTOP reported, “During that incident Owen was leaving the department’s Toys for Tots event when he saw Rodney Edwards lying on the side of the road. Owen went to assist him but then Edwards pointed a gun at him. Owen shot and killed him.”

After the most recent fatal shooting, Owen has also been charged with voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, first-degree assault and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.  He was immediately placed on administrative leave on Monday and taken into custody on Tuesday. 

Green’s family has shared that he was not a violent person. In an interview, his cousin Juanita Sharma shared, “Since the day he was born he was the most gentle, sweetest, kindest. He loved his mother and he loved his family. He showed love to his family.”