Montgomery County Council candidate Kristin Mink is calling on Montgomery County Police to release its body camera footage of the Friday-night police standoff that left one man dead at a Gaithersburg McDonald’s.
“I am calling on MCPD to release all unedited footage of the incident and a detailed explanation of how a man allegedly refusing to move out of line at a McDonald’s ended up dead at MCPD’s hands,” Mink wrote Sunday in a statement she emailed to area media.
Man killed by Montgomery County Police at Gaithersburg McDonald’s
On Saturday, Montgomery County Police released a statement detailing an incident in which a 21-year-old man was shot dead by officers on Friday night, following a standoff at the McDonald’s on Flower Hill Way in Gaithersburg.
The man had “ordered food and was refusing to pay or move his vehicle from the drive-through lane,” according to MCPD’s statement.
“A 6th District officer responded to the scene and approached a white Honda CRV parked in the drive-through lane. The 21-year-old male was the sole occupant of the vehicle, located in the driver’s seat.”
A police officer “immediately observed a handgun on the front passenger seat and called for backup,” the statement read.
Police attempted to “deescalate the situation by negotiating with the driver for approximately thirty minutes.”
But the circumstances surrounding the man’s death are still unknown and under investigation at the behest of police.
Officers “immediately rendered aid to the driver until Montgomery County Police and Rescue arrived on scene and transported the man,” whose name hasn’t been released as of Sunday, “to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”
The Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office are investigating the officer-involved shooting.
In 2019, Montgomery County state’s attorney John J. McCarthy and his Howard County counterpart, Rich H. Gibson Jr., ratified a written agreement in which the adjacent jurisdictions review one another’s police-involved deaths, to ensure greater transparency around police actions as well as distancing state prosecutors from the police officers they’re investigating.
The officers involved in Friday’s shooting were placed on administrative leave, under MCP policy.
Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones will hold a press conference at Montgomery County Police headquarters in Gaithersburg on Monday, July 19, at 5:00 p.m.
Kristin Mink demands ‘raw, unedited footage’ of shooting
Mink, an at-large Democratic council candidate, said “virtually no details of the incident” have been released “outside of what might be perceived as exculpatory.”
“Mentioning the alleged gun implies justification where none may exist,” she said.
“I am calling on MCPD to release all unedited footage of the incident and a detailed explanation of how a man allegedly refusing to move out of line at a McDonald’s ended up dead at MCPD’s hands.”
Mink’s statement criticizes the agreement in place between Montgomery and Howard Counties state prosecutors to investigate one another’s officer-involved shootings.
Law Enforcement Trust and Transparency (LETT) Act
In May 2019, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) signed the Law Enforcement Trust and Transparency Act into law.
The bill, first introduced by freshman council member Will Jawando (D-At-large) in January 2019, requires an independent and transparent investigation into a police officer-involved death.
Jawando said at the time of the bill’s signing that an “independent criminal investigation guards against bias, and the perception of bias” and it “serves all involved — our officers, the prosecutors and our residents, and we believe that this transparency will build trust.”
But Mink lacks confidence in Jawando’s legislation.
She says, “another police department, especially a neighboring one with likely social ties to members of MCPD, as the investigative body is not the best way to ensure transparency and accountability, Mink said.
Mink is calling for “true community oversight and the end of trial boards” – demands that she says have ” long been made by local advocacy groups impacted by police violence.”
Awaiting Kristin Mink’s response
A Miner Detail emailed Mink six questions (see the screenshot below) on Sunday.
Mink did not respond to A Miner Detail’s questions as of Sunday evening.
Montgomery County Police blast Kristin Mink
On Sunday, two Montgomery County Police officials agreed to speak on the condition that A Miner Detail withhold from publication their names and ranks.
A Miner Detail forwarded Mink’s statement to one of its sources within Montgomery County Police for comment.
After reading Mink’s statement, the police official blasted Mink as a “social justice warrior.”
“She [Mink] is a social justice warrior with zero law enforcement experience. She’s obviously stirring the political pot on the backs of our hard-working and dedicated officers – and for what? To stand out in a crowded at-large council race,” the MCP source said.
“Ever since the agreement was signed between our two counties, the four or five officer shootings in Montgomery County were fully and transparently investigated. And it was determined that the officers’ lethal force in each of the cases was absolutely warranted,” the MCP source went on to say.
When reached Sunday by text message, a second MCP official dismissed Mink’s statement as “bull— politics.”
“Kristin Mink’s problem is with Will Jawando, Marc Elrich, and John McCarthy’s policies. I don’t understand why she’s blaming Montgomery County Police for following county policy,” the source said.
“She’s playing bull— partisan politics.”
“What kind of councilperson will Kristin Mink be if she’s already made up her mind without having all the facts – less than 48 hours after the incident?” the source asked.
“She has an agenda: she’s anti-police, and it’s so frustrating because Montgomery County politicians don’t have our backs. Is it any wonder why our county cannot recruit police officers to join our force?”
Kristin Mink’s comments will be added to the story, should she respond.
Ryan Miner is the Editor, Founder and Publisher of A Miner Detail, a Maryland politics blog featuring Maryland political news, political commentary and opinion. He is the host of A Miner Detail Podcast.
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