By Mark F. Gray
AFRO Staff Writer
An unidentified Prince George’s County Police officer has been placed on administrative leave after a suspect was shot and killed while in custody during an incident in Temple Hills, Maryland.
The victim, 49-year-old William Green, was reportedly handcuffed and wearing a seat belt inside a police cruiser Jan. 27 after he was apprehended by officers who believed they smelled PCP coming from his vehicle.
County Police spokesperson Christina Cotterman stated they received a 911 call around 8:00 p.m. regarding a driver who hit several cars on St. Barnabas Road. Their preliminary investigation revealed Green was handcuffed with his arms behind him and he had been placed in the front passenger seat of a police car wearing a seat belt while officers waited for a drug recognition expert to help them before he was to be transported to processing at the County’s Department of Corrections. This is believed to be standard operating procedure in circumstances like these.
The unidentified officer, who was not wearing a body camera, is believed to have sat in the front seat when the situation turned fatal according to Cotterman. Two witnesses reportedly told police they heard an ensuing struggle before multiple shots were fired inside the police cruiser. After Green was injured authorities say they tried performing life saving measures before he was taken to the hospital and declared dead.
“These deaths are completely preventable,” Deborah Jeon told NBC-4 in Washington. “Police characterize them as unavoidable, but they are not. And body camera footage will show that.”
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy issued a statement on Jan. 28 saying her office would commence it’s own independent investigation.
“We will seek truth and will vigorously pursue justice in a way that is fair and responsible,” Braveboy said in the statement. “Once we have received all information and completed our own investigation and analysis, I assure you that my office will be transparent and accountable to the public about our findings and how we will move forward.”
Green’s fiance’ also told NBC-4 that he worked for Megabus and was due a promotion. He was also reportedly the father of two children.