After a half-dozen Washington, D.C. cops woke an armed Black man they found asleep in his parked car, one of them shot and killed him as he tried to drive away. The early-morning incident unfolded on August 25, 2021, after a 911 caller reported a car was idling on a city street, and the driver appeared to be sleeping inside.
The driver turned out to be a 27-year-old Maryland construction worker, An’Twan Gilmore. Together with an ambulance and its crew, a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer responded to the scene and observed the sleeping man had a handgun tucked into his waistband and his foot on the brake pedal of the running car. Backup was called for, and another five officers arrived. One of them—Sgt. Enis Jevric, a 14-year veteran of MPD—armed himself with a riot shield and approached the vehicle to knock on the window, startling Gilmore awake.
Jevric’s riot shield obscured details of what happened next from the view of his fellow officers and their body cameras. But what is known is that Gilmore's vehicle lurched forward when he was startled, stopped as officers yelled at him to do so, and then drove on again. That’s when Jevric opened fire, shooting into the vehicle ten times before it crashed a few blocks away. Officers caught up with him again, along with the ambulance and its crew, who transported him to a hospital where he died.
MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III said that “firing at a moving vehicle is inconsistent with our policies.” But he withheld further comment on the incident pending an answer to the question of what Jervic perceived “to be the threat at that point.”
“The other officers apparently did not perceive such a threat,” noted Philip M. Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Lois James, an assistant dean for research at Washington State University College of Nursing, who studies performance in high-stress jobs, noted that Gilmore’s positioning showed he “had not pulled over and taken a nap.” She also wondered why police didn’t block the car if they had time for Jervic to retrieve a riot shield.
After Gilmore died, MPD announced an outstanding warrant for his arrest for discharging a firearm. The gun officers observed—a Glock pistol loaded with 17 rounds—was still in his waistband. Police added that it was registered in South Carolina but not to Gilmore. The BMW sedan he was driving also was not his, they said.
A cousin, LaShunna Grier, questioned why those details were made public when Gilmore was not accused of stealing the car or the gun, which she said he likely carried for protection. She added that he also suffered from seizures, though it wasn't clear if that played a role in stopping the car and falling asleep.
Source: Washington Post
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