The man fatally shot by a Baltimore County Police lieutenant in October was hit within the higher proper of his again after first firing at the least one shot on the officer, in accordance with a report launched Monday by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.
The bullet entry wound indicated Jovan Singleton, 36, had turned away when he was shot, the report said. Investigators wrote it was attainable Singleton had turned to flee after Lt. Gregory Mead started to shoot, however there wasn’t sufficient proof to say definitively.
Police have mentioned Singleton and Mead exchanged gunfire after Mead responded to a report of a automobile crash close to a theft at a 7-Eleven on Windsor Mill Road round 2 a.m. Oct. 11.
Singleton was discovered useless by police about 5 hours after the taking pictures within the facet yard of a house within the Woodlawn space, about 173 toes away from the taking pictures scene.
Mead gained’t face legal expenses in reference to Singleton’s taking pictures, the Baltimore County deputy state’s legal professional wrote in a letter this month after reviewing the findings of the Independent Investigations Division, the unit of the legal professional normal’s workplace charged with investigations into fatalities involving police.
Deputy State’s Attorney Robin Coffin mentioned the taking pictures was “justified for the protection of Lt. Mead’s life and the surrounding community.”
None of the interplay was captured by body-worn digital camera as a result of Mead didn’t activate his gear, which the state report notes is probably going a violation of departmental coverage.
A spokeswoman for Baltimore County Police mentioned Monday that an administrative investigation will start now that the legal investigation has concluded. The company’s investigation will embody a overview of the Independent Investigations Division report, spokeswoman Joy Stewart mentioned.
Mead continues to be employed by the division, Stewart mentioned.
The report is the first to be launched because the division started investigating statewide police-involved fatalities final October below police reform laws handed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2021. The division is tasked with investigating such incidents and making ready a report with findings and authorized evaluation, however not making a prosecutorial resolution.
In this case, the report thought of a collection of legal statutes, together with intentional second-degree homicide, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
The evaluation discovered it could be troublesome for prosecutors to show Mead didn’t act in self-defense, and that proof advised Mead “reasonably believed” Singleton posed an imminent or quick risk of dying.
That conclusion was reached, the report mentioned, as a result of proof indicated that Mead fired his weapon in “immediate response to Mr. Singleton initiating fire”; the 2 males had been shut collectively after they exchanged gunfire; Mead thought he had been shot within the knee; and had purpose to imagine there might be different suspects within the space.
It provides that proof doesn’t point out gross negligent conduct triggered Singleton’s dying or that Mead’s conduct was unreasonable.
John Singleton, Jovan’s father, mentioned final week he didn’t suppose his son would do “something like that,” in response to Coffin’s letter about not bringing expenses in opposition to Mead. John Singleton mentioned Jovan had two kids and had been afraid of police resulting from a previous expertise.
At the time, John Singleton had not seen the legal professional normal report. Family members weren’t obtainable Monday to touch upon the report.
Ryan Coleman, president of the Randallstown NAACP, known as the taking pictures a tragedy as a result of somebody misplaced their life, however, he mentioned, after reviewing the report, it appeared Mead “acted reasonably” if he was being fired upon.
“I think the process in this case worked,” mentioned Coleman, referencing the brand new division’s investigation and evaluation. “One good thing about the AG’s office looking into these things is we can get not a police view, but a separate view of what the facts are.”
The division’s report does notice an inconsistency in Mead’s accounts of the variety of pictures exchanged. He initially advised officers he’d fired three or 4 occasions, then wrote he’d fired six or seven occasions. He additionally initially mentioned Singleton had fired three or 4 rounds, then advised the investigators in written responses he didn’t know what number of whole pictures had been fired.
He additionally mentioned that Singleton “advanced toward me before and as I fired” — an outline that’s contradicted by Singleton’s gunshot wound, in accordance with the report.
“The location of the entry wound indicates that Mr. Singleton had turned away when Lt. Mead fired the round that struck him,” the report mentioned.
Mead offered a written assertion and responses to the Independent Investigations Division’s questions fairly than submitting to an interview. He subsequently was interviewed by a Maryland State Police sergeant, on the request of Baltimore County Deputy State’s Attorney Robin Coffin, in accordance with her letter declining to press expenses.
That interview was not included within the report, however Attorney General Brian Frosh wrote in a response to Coffin this month that the division would situation a supplemental report, which has not but been launched.
In a launch Monday, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger thanked Frosh’s crew for the “thoroughness” of the report, which he mentioned allowed his workplace to carry out an evaluation of the case. Shellenberger added that it’s his workplace’s place the taking pictures was justified “based upon all of the facts and statements provided in the interview and the investigation.”
“Therefore,” Shellenberger mentioned, “this office will not take action regarding Lt. Mead.”
According to the narrative offered within the report launched Monday, the incident started when a 7-Eleven was robbed at gunpoint that October morning. An individual matching the suspect’s description was captured on digital camera getting right into a truck that drove away, earlier than crashing into one other automobile a couple of mile away. The driver struck by the truck mentioned three or 4 folks fled.
Mead advised investigators he heard concerning the theft and hit-and-run incidents and responded to the crash scene. On the way in which, he noticed Singleton, and tried to cease him for questioning. He requested Singleton to take a seat on the curb, however Singleton ran away on foot.
During a foot pursuit, in accordance with Mead, Singleton turned and fired at Mead. The lieutenant returned fireplace, he mentioned, after which Singleton ran away between two properties.
Mead mentioned he was uncertain which method Singleton’s physique was dealing with as a result of he was “returning fire at a silhouette with a muzzle flash.”
Mead radioed in concerning the gunfire trade at 2:11 a.m. He mentioned he had been shot, however an harm to his knee turned out to not be a gunshot wound. Redactions to the report take away details about the character of the harm.
Redactions additionally block details about the seek for Singleton. What’s left signifies Baltimore County Police “established a perimeter” and took some steps to attempt to discover Singleton, however for “officer safety reasons,” a captain didn’t deploy a foot search immediately.
Mead mentioned in his written assertion that after the taking pictures he was “concerned that there were other suspects in the area that had been involved in the armed robbery/bail out as I believe the two incidents to be related.”
No expenses have been introduced within the 7-Eleven theft, Shellenberger mentioned.
Maryland State Police, tasked with serving to examine the Independent Investigations Division circumstances, interviewed about two dozen neighbors within the days after the taking pictures. None noticed it, however most heard gunshots, with 4 particularly stating they heard one or two pictures, adopted by a short pause, then 4 to seven pictures.
Neighbors additionally described listening to somebody close to their properties after the taking pictures.
Singleton’s physique was discovered by an officer round 7 a.m. within the facet yard of 1 close by dwelling. Blood was discovered on the house’s entrance porch, however the residents didn’t discover anybody making an attempt to enter their dwelling, the report mentioned.
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Investigators additionally recovered two units of bullet casings from the scene, about 37 toes aside.
They included a single .380 caliber casing, which matched a Grendel handgun discovered about 50 toes away from Singleton’s physique, in accordance with the report. Singleton’s DNA was discovered on the firearm and its journal.
Eight 9-mm casings additionally had been discovered, in addition to a 9-mm bullet recovered from a automobile parked on the road. The casings and bullet got here from Mead’s service weapon, a ballistics evaluation discovered.
This was Mead’s first taking pictures incident, the report mentioned. There had been no inner affairs complaints in opposition to him discovered to be substantiated since his profession started in 1996, it mentioned.
It’s not clear why Mead didn’t activate his body-worn digital camera, as police coverage requires. After the taking pictures, he advised one other officer he had been dashing to reply, however his written assertion mentioned he was making an attempt to plug the wire into the battery as he left the station, in accordance with the report.
“He gives no explanation as to why he did not successfully plug the camera cord into the battery, nor is there any indication that the equipment was broken or malfunctioning,” the report mentioned.
Mead was captured on one other officer’s physique digital camera utilizing an expletive to say he knew his digital camera wasn’t on however that he “just ran out of the precinct.”