Federal Civil Rights Investigation Launched into US Park Police Shooting of 17-Year-Old in DC
Written by: Ismael Barrios
Washington, DC - The US Park Police, meanwhile, has stated that the investigation into the incident is being handled by the Metropolitan Police Department and reviewed by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Additionally, an administrative review of the incident is being conducted by the Department of the Interior.
Civil rights attorney Andrew O. Clarke, who is representing Martin's family, expressed his concerns at a news conference on Wednesday. He invoked the names of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and questioned how long the Black community would have to endure disparate treatment from the police. Martin's death underscores the need for police accountability and transparency to ensure that law enforcement officials are held accountable for their actions.
The US Attorney’s Office in Washington released a statement calling the bodycam video “extremely upsetting” and stating that they are committed to conducting a thorough and diligent civil rights investigation into the circumstances leading to Martin’s death.
The police account states that a Park Police sergeant and an officer responded to a report of a stolen vehicle shortly before 9 a.m. on March 18th. While attempting to detain the driver, the car fled from the scene with one officer inside. The sergeant was dragged by the fleeing car from outside the vehicle. The officer inside the car gave verbal commands to stop, but when the driver did not comply, the officer discharged their firearm. The incident left Martin dead, and a firearm was recovered inside the vehicle.
This is not the first time the Metropolitan Police Department in D.C. has shot a Black man in his car. In August 2021, Ant’Wan Gilmore was fatally shot in his own vehicle as he was sleeping. Gilmore awoke to someone tapping on his glass, his vehicle moved forward slightly, and he was shot 10 times. Enis Jevric, the officer who shot Gilmore, has been charged with second-degree murder.
The officers involved in the incident with Martin are on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard procedure. The police union representing the officers has not yet released a statement.