Fair Warning: The video below may be disturbing to some viewers
In a shocking video, a cop from Prince George's County, Maryland, shot an unarmed black man in the back.
The incident occurred after Maryland police responded to an alarm at the Indus Food International Market in Laurel in April. The officers encountered a 15-year-old boy at the scene and reportedly told him to stop. When the boy refused, they tazed him, the police said.
Once the boy was incapacitated, the officers went to search the rest of the property for any more burglars.
In the video, an officer is seen flashing a light and readying his gun as he opened the door and peered inside. Apparently seeing an individual, the officer fired a single shot.
It was later revealed the shot hit 20-year-old Rashawn Curbeam of Nottingham, Maryland, in the back. The man fell to the ground after the injury, but the officer pulled him out and assessed him for the wound.
When he saw a hole in the man’s back, the unnamed officer released a string of expletives and quickly called for first aid.
At the time of incident, the City of Laurel called the shooting “unintentional” and said the officer was startled by the man’s movement in the dark.
However, Curbeam, who recovered from the shooting and did not agree, vented his frustration on his Facebook page.
“They incriminating me as a 'suspect' but not incriminating him for shooting me as a unarmed and no harm man,” Curbeam wrote in a caption above the video.
His lawyer, Patrick Preller, also disagreed with the City of Laurel’s assessment, claiming the officer’s action was inexcusable as Curbeam was not posing a threat to him.
“Police officers are in a unique position of power and authority in our communities, and as such they have a responsibility to be transparent and accountable for their actions,” said Preller. “They are specifically trained only to use deadly force when necessary. Deadly force was clearly not necessary in this instance, and even under the most generous interpretation of the officer's actions in this event, there is no possible interpretation under which the officer's actions were warranted or should be excused.”
The officer, according to the City of Laurel, is a 17-year veteran and is also a member of the SWAT team and firearms instructor.
A Prince George's grand jury ruled in the favor of the officer and chose not to indict him. Preller, however, said he does not accept the ruling and his law firm plans to file a motion to seek a copy of the grand jury’s testimony.
While the officer is cleared of all charges, Curbeam is expected to arrive at court next week to face burglary charges.
Banner image credit: Facebook, Rashawn Curbeam