Two Baltimore police officers are being investigated in the shooting and killing of 18-year-old Donnell Rochester during a traffic stop in February, reported Huffington Post. Reports say officers shot into his car as he tried to drive away, striking an officer with the vehicle. However, their account of the incident differs from the footage.
Police said the officers stopped Rochester to serve a warrant against him related to an armed carjacking, reported WBALTV. Per the police camera footage, officers approached Rochester on both sides of the vehicle when Rochester tried to pull off. The officers began firing at the car and handcuffed him while he suffered fatal wounds.
However, the police statements on the event conflict with the footage. Rochester’s family also said the video of the incident didn’t show Rochester trying to escape.
More on the case from HuffPost:
Maryland’s attorney general’s office identified two officers involved in the shooting as Connor Murray and Robert Mauri.
Rochester was unarmed. The police department released body camera footage in March that doesn’t show the car striking any officers as Rochester drives away, though Murray, who was near the car, does fall down as he’s running and firing his weapon.
Murray himself later says in the footage that Rochester did not strike him with the car.
But that’s not what officers wrote in a Feb. 22 request for a search and seizure warrant for Rochester’s car, in which they cited first-degree attempted murder — claiming the teen struck a police officer with his car — as a reason to search the vehicle.
Rochester’s family held a number of protests with students from Morgan State and Coppin University to bring accountability against the officers involved, via WBALTV.
“He had his whole life ahead of him that he wanted to pursue, his goals and dreams,” said Rochester’s mother, Danielle Brown, to HuffPost. “We just want answers, and [to] let the world know that Donnell should still be here. We are going to be his voice since he can’t. My son did not deserve what happened to him, for his life to be taken away.”
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave upon the investigation, per HuffPost.