Footage shows police officer shooting man who was asleep

·4 min read

A D.C. police officer shot 10-rounds into a Maryland man who fell asleep in a car at a traffic light

Video footage from a D.C. police body camera shows a police officer shooting 10-rounds into a man found asleep at the wheel early Wednesday morning.

The victim, 27-year-old Antwan Gilmore, was swarmed by police after they found him in a car sitting at a traffic light at the intersection of New York and Florida avenue NE. The officers said that Gilmore was unconscious when they approached the car. They also allege that they saw a gun on his waistband.

In the video, the officer who fired his gun noticed the Capitol Heights man waking up and can be heard saying “watch the hands,” “where’s the gun at” and “should we knock,” before multiple officers start yelling for Gilmore to not move. 

Gilmore’s car glitches forward and stops, before moving forward again. Moments after, gunshots can he heard.

“It’s very difficult to see through the lens of the officer, the one officer in this case that fired,” said the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC) Police Chief Robert Contee during a press conference Thursday morning. “It’s very difficult to see what that officer is seeing. What did he perceive to be the threat at that point?” 

Gilmore later died at the hospital from gunshot wounds.

Police brutality has been a big issue in the United States, especially for Black men and women. Statistics show that Black Americans are disproportionately killed by lethal force from law enforcement and are 2.8 times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans.

A little over a year ago, the public masses were protesting the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who was suffocated by a Derek Chauvin, a white police officer who kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes.

Millions across the world went out to protest against police brutality and end the unlawful killings of unarmed Black men and women by law enforcement. However, little has been done policy-wise to create protections for the most marginalized Americans.

This is not the first time that an officer with the MPDC shot and killed an African American. Over the past five years, police in the DMV area have killed more than two dozen Black Washingtonians. 

In 2020, video footage of MPD police shooting 18-year-old Deon Kay in the chest after a police chase sparked many to call for Mayor Muriel Bowser to defund the districts’ law enforcement.

In early August, video footage of three MPDC officers attacking a Black man— two restraining him to a fence while the other repeatedly punched him in his head — made rounds on social media. Chief Contee said he was “embarrassed,” “disturbed,” “disheartened” and “ashamed” about the officers’ actions and all three are under investigation.

“We are committed to transparency. We are committed to accountability,” said Contee about the investigation related to Gilmore’s death.

Contee said that firing at a moving vehicle is “inconsistent with our [MPDC] policies.”

While Gilmore’s hand was on his waistband after his vehicle hit a tree a block away from where he was shot, it is unknown if the gun was removed during the time of the incident.

Neither the gun nor the car was registered to Gilmore.

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