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Michael Owen, A Maryland Police Charged, killing Suspect

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Michael Owen, A Maryland police charged with second-degree murder after allegedly shot a man sitting in the front seat of his police car.

The police officer fatally shot and killed The man, William Green, in Maryland Monday. The suspect was inside the police cruiser, according to authorities.

Prince George’s County Police Chief, Hank Stawinski announced the incident murder, manslaughter, assault, and associated weapons charges at a Tuesday press conference. 

PG’s County Police Cpl. Michael Owen Jr. charged with involving in the fatal shooting unarmed man, 43-year-old William Howard Green seven times, in Temple Hills Maryland, police announced.

“I’m unable to come to our community this evening and provide you with a reasonable explanation for the events that occurred last night,” Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said to reporters. “I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime.”

“I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime,” Stawinski stated. There was no “reasonable explanation” for the events.

Officers Response to the Call

Prince George’s County officers responded to reports of a car slamming into parked vehicles. At about 8 p.m. a driver had struck multiple vehicles near the Temple Hills community, about 10 miles southeast of D.C., spokeswoman Christina Cotterman informed reporters during a news conference.

The officers found William Green the car’s driver and handcuffed him. They also smelled PCP (Phencyclidine) and believed the man was under the influence, Cotterman stated. The officers waited for a drug recognition expert to inform them.

The suspect handcuffed from behind his backseat and buckled into the front passenger seat of the vehicle. An officer then got into the driver’s seat.

Two independent witnesses reported to Maryland police they either saw or heard a struggle, and heard loud bangs coming from the charged officer’s cruiser. The man shot multiple times by the officer’s service weapon. Officers conducted life-saving measures and transported the man to a hospital in Maryland, where he died a short time later.

Michael Owen, a Maryland Cop Who Killed Handcuffed Man
Suspect William Green at the right.

The shooting didn’t catch on the body-camera video. The officer didn’t have one. Investigators are exploring monitoring cameras in the area that may have recorded the shooting. “We are determined to find out what happened inside that cruiser,” Cotterman said.

Cotterman said it was the usual practice in the department for officers to put a suspect in the front passenger seat of a police vehicle.

A police statement says the officer did not have a transport partition vehicle that would have allowed him to transport Green in the rear seat.

What led Michael Owen to Kill the suspect?

It’s unclear what led to the gunfire. Officials did not review what the other officer was doing during the incident. Owen was arrested Tuesday afternoon and is expecting a bond hearing. He is with the police department for years and was in charge of patrol duties.

Whether he retained an attorney who could discuss the charges, is not clear yet.

“There are no circumstances under in which this outcome is acceptable and I want to extend my heartfelt sorrow and sympathies to the Green family,” Stawinski stated Tuesday.

Green’s fiancee, Sandra Mathis, questioned what harm Green could have done to the officer while restrained.

“Obviously, he didn’t resist arrest because he was in handcuffs,” she said. “His life mattered.”

Deborah Jeon, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. She condemned the shooting and made a call for full clarity and responsibility in the investigation.

“There is no reason why a handcuffed person should ever be shot multiple times by a police officer, let alone shot multiple times inside a patrol car. Anything short of that assessment would just demonstrate complete lack of respect for human life,” Jeon said in a statement.

The case quickly drew criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday.

“Once again, a Black man – William Green – died needlessly by officers with the Prince George’s County Police Department,” reads a statement attributed to Deborah Jeon of Maryland.

“We want to know why our loved one was brutally shot in a police car, handcuffed, seat belt, and in the front seat,” stated Green’s fiancé, Sandra Mathis, in an interview. “What harm could this individual do to this police officer?”

“His life matters,” Mathis said. “Damn. Come on, y’all.”

The officer, Michael Owen involved in the shooting is a 10-year force veteran and has been placed on administrative leave.

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