Tyrone Brown was days away from attending his son’s eighth-grade graduation in San Diego and a month away from walking one of his sisters down the aisle on her wedding day. He lived with his wife and 8-year-old daughter in Baltimore and was fatally shot nine times by an off-duty cop on June 5.

The state’s attorney’s office is now investigating the case to determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Officer Gahiji Tshamba. A state’s attorney’s office spokesman told {The Associated Press} there is no timetable for their decision.

Tshamba, 36, and a female companion left the Red Maple night club early that Saturday morning as Brown, 32, his sister Chantay Kangalee and a friend left Eden’s Lounge. The two parties ended up in an alley off East Eager St. about 1:30 a.m., where Brown patted Tshamba’s female friend on her rear end. Baltimore City Police Department (BCPD) Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi called it a “touch,” and other reports say Kangalee called it a joke for which Brown tried to apologize.

Guglielmi said Brown’s sister witnessed the incident and said there was no fight, but other witnesses claim there was a physical spat. In either scenario, Brown was unarmed when Tshamba fired 13 close-range shots from his service weapon. “There was no threat we could find that would easily explain why this officer discharged his weapon 13 times,” Guglielmi said.

Brown, a marine who survived two tours of duty in Iraq, died a short time after being hit in his chest and groin. Tshamba has been placed on desk duty as lead homicide detectives, the Internal Affairs Bureau, FBI and prosecutors investigate to determine whether or not charges will be filed.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told reporters she expects a full investigation. “I cannot accept officers acting outside the law,” she said. “Our citizens expect and demand more and deserve more. No wants to ever see this happen again. I certainly don’t.”

Brown’s death brings the number of shootings Tshamba was involved in to three. After a foot chase in 1998, he shot an armed robbery suspect in the back, a bullet that Officer Dino Gregory told the {Baltimore Sun} saved his life when the suspect attempted to shoot him.

But in 2005, after shooting someone in the foot during an off-duty altercation outside of a bar in 2005, he was reprimanded internally when it was determined that he had been drinking.

“There was evidence he had a drink in his hand – whether it was alcoholic or not, there is no evidence at this time,” Guglielmi said of the current shooting.

NAACP-Baltimore President Marvin Cheatham feels Tshamba’s record warrants some “serious discussions” about the rules and regulations governing the BCPD. After denouncing the BCPD for their lack of transparency on Brown’s death, Cheatham spoke with Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld and questioned how Tshamba was allowed back on the force.

“How does this officer shoot someone, was considered to be drinking with the previous incident and he’s back on the street with a gun?” he said. “The possible misconduct of one person seemingly has caused an officer to do what he’s not supposed to do.”

Cheatham recommends forming a commission of police officers and community members to review procedures relating to off-duty police conduct, especially pertaining to drinking. He also said the police Bill of Rights should be reviewed to ensure that cops are not held above the law.

“It appears as though they may have more rights than citizens,” Cheatham said. “Anything like that does not warrant someone to be shot so many times. We are extremely troubled by this incident to say the least.”

 

MelanieR.Holmes

AFROStaffWriter