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DeLeonardo tapped to investigate Baltimore City police-involved shooting

Brian DeLeonardo, Carroll County State's Attorney
Brian DeLeonardo, Carroll County State's Attorney (HANDOUT)

Baltimore City has asked the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office to investigate a police-involved shooting to see whether charges are necessary.

Two veteran police officers allegedly opened fire on a male driver at about 1:20 p.m. on Wednesday in the 3400 block of Piedmont Ave. in Northwest Baltimore. The man had allegedly driven his car toward their vehicle, ripping off an open door of the police car and hitting an officer in the leg, police said. Brian DeLeonardo and his team at the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office started investigating the incident on Wednesday, DeLeonardo said.

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The driver, identified as 23-year-old Jawan Jerome Richards, of Baltimore, remained in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries as of Friday evening.

The Carroll County State's Attorney's Office was called due to a conflict of interest between the police officers and the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, according to a statement from the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office.

The Carroll County State's Attorney's Office will also work with the Baltimore Police Department's Special Investigations Response Team while investigating the shooting.

Conflicts of interest are not unusual, DeLeonardo said, and any state's attorney's office will step in for another jurisdiction whenever there is a conflict of interest, real or perceived.

DeLeonardo will ultimately decide whether charges need to be brought against the two officers, a decision that will only be made once he feels the investigation has been completed, he said.

"We have a job to do," DeLeonardo said. "We're going to do that thoroughly and professionally."

If charges are brought, they will be brought in Baltimore City. DeLeonardo and other senior prosecutors in his office would be the prosecutors if charges are brought, he said.

DeLeonardo said he has investigated other cases involving police misconduct, including internal investigations, he said.

He did not know how long the investigation would take before he was comfortable deciding whether to bring charges.

"Every investigation is different," DeLeonardo said. "We'll be extremely thorough."

DeLeonardo's office also worked with Baltimore police to investigate and bring charges against Richards. There is a warrant out for his arrest once he is released from the hospital. He is charged with multiple handgun violations and traffic violations, according to police.

A warrant for Richards was not yet logged in Maryland Case Search as of 7:45 p.m. Friday.

410-857-7898

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