After being arrested for the third time in one month for gun or drug charges, and released from custody, 18-year-old Curtis Deal was fatally shot by a Baltimore police detective a day later.
On Monday, Judge Nicole Taylor allowed Deal to avoid detention while awaiting trial.
He was shot the following day after allegedly jumping out of a vehicle being tailed by officers and fleeing through the same neighborhood where he had been arrested the week before.
Deal brandished a gun and pointed it at the detective pursuing him, all caught by the officer’s body camera. Police said the detective fired at Deal because he feared for his own life.
Almost immediately, the circumstances of Deal’s release sparked more fire in the growing debate in Baltimore over perceived leniency for repeat gun offenders.
“It shows dysfunction, I believe, in our criminal justice system,” said Mayor Catherine Pugh. “People who have those many gun charges probably should not be on our streets.”
Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein insisted that authorities need to “make sure people carrying guns in the community are held accountable.” Rosenstein said that Deal’s death was “tragic,” yet noted that the detective was “put in a situation maybe he shouldn’t have been in.”
Police released body camera footage of the incident Thursday, identifying Detective David Kincaid Jr. as the detective who fired at Deal. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis classified the shooting as justified, noting that he was proud of Kincaid for his brave work.
“I expect police officers to chase people who bail out of cars with guns,” Davis said, yet also criticized Judge Taylor’s decision to release Deal from custody on Monday. Davis lamented that his department “could very well be planning a police funeral right now.”
Officials are grasping for answers in a city that continues to reel from gun violence, with more than a killing a day so far in 2017.
H/T: The Baltimore Sun
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