A suspected Black Guerrilla Family gang member under surveillance in a narcotics investigation struck another vehicle with his SUV in an attempt to flee from FBI agents in April in Owings Mills, prompting them to fire 19 rounds, striking him six times, according to a detailed report of the fatal shooting.
The Baltimore County state's attorney's office found the shooting outside the Sam's Club store was justified and will not charge agents who killed Jameel Kareem Ofurum Harrison, 34, after they stopped his car April 11.
The redacted report from the state's attorney's office, obtained by The Baltimore Sun, details why the agents opened fire during the stop.
The report says Harrison "put the vehicle in reverse, accelerated past two witness vehicles, then struck a third witness vehicle. At that point the driver made a movement that placed three agents in fear of death or injury, causing them to discharge their weapons," according to the Baltimore County Police Department's investigative report, which was reviewed by the state's attorney's office.
Harrison was pronounced dead at the scene.
Names of the agents were blacked out of the documents, but a police report previously obtained by The Sun identified the four agents involved in the case by their last names: Nye, James, Reagan, and Lipsner. The report doesn't provide the agents' first names. The report also did not identify the Baltimore County officer who was with the federal agents at the time, but who did not fire his weapon.
FBI spokeswoman Amy J. Thoreson said the agency's shooting incident review team continues to investigate. She said she would not comment on the agents' status and the investigation that led to the shooting.
The agency was working with other law enforcement officers as part of a larger drug investigation, but officials have not provided additional details.
Court records show Harrison had a lengthy criminal record that involves drug-related offenses, and that he was working as a salesman at a Frederick auto dealership.
Attempts to reach Harrison's mother at her Clairelee Drive home in Owings Mills were unsuccessful.
Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger said his office found that the shooting was justified because "Mr. Harrison put numerous officers in danger in the way that he was operating his car."
"The officers go through extensive training, and they have protocol on the escalation of force depending on what they are reacting to, so based on any given situation an officer can always be placed in fear, but we look at these cases very carefully," Shellenberger said.
He noted that his office has pursued charges in law enforcement-related deaths in the past. His office tried Baltimore County Officer James D. Laboard in the death of 17-year-old Christopher Brown. Police said the officer chased after Brown after a group of teens threw a rock at his front door in 2012. Laboard was later acquitted.
All FBI shootings between 1993 and early 2011, which resulted in about 70 fatalities and 80 others injured across the United States, were found justified, according to a New York Times investigation last year.
"It is extremely rare for state's attorney's offices to bring charges against law enforcement," said Andrew C. White, a Baltimore-based attorney who represented an FBI agent after a 2002 shooting in Anne Arundel County. In that case, the agent shot and injured a man who matched the description of a bank robber but was later found not to have been involved.
The Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office brought the case before a grand jury, which decided not to charge the agent. White said the agency determined the shooting was justified.
"Because the FBI have been well trained, most of the time the shootings are justified," he said.
In the Owings Mills shooting, the agents from the FBI's Baltimore field office, along with other law enforcement personnel, were wearing vests that identified them as law enforcement. They got out of their cars, surrounded Harrison's car, and told him to raise his hands and get out of the car.
One officer pulled his Chevrolet Uplander minivan in front of Harrison's 2013 Infiniti FX37, boxing him in. The officer got out and walked up to the front of Harrison's car; with his weapon drawn, he identified himself as a police officer and ordered Harrison to get out of the car. Another agent walked up to Harrison's driver-side door, and others also approached the vehicle and repeated similar commands.
The report says Harrison started to drop his hands "and a short time after that, the vehicle was driving in reverse," striking the car behind him.
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