Dawnta Harris was interviewed by police the day that Baltimore County police officer Amy Caprio was killed. During the interview he tried to hide a Jeep key.
After Dawnta Harris ran over a Baltimore County Police officer in a stolen Jeep, he found himself in an interrogation room with evidence of the crime in his pants.
The West Baltimore teen looked for someplace to hide the Jeep key. He tucked it beneath a chair before a detective walked in and sat down. The key fell.
“What’s this?” Det. Alvin Barton asked.
The scene comes during an hourslong police interrogation of Harris. By the end, the boy admits he ducked his head, closed his eyes and hit the gas. Officials provided the interrogation video to The Baltimore Sun this week after the 17-year-old was sentenced to life in prison for the murder.
In May 2018, Harris and three friends left Baltimore and drove to Perry Hall. They began to burglarize homes when Officer Amy Caprio responded to calls of suspicious activity. On a suburban cul-de-sac, she encountered Harris alone in the Jeep. She blocked his way with her patrol car, jumped out and ordered him to stop. Harris ran her over, according to testimony from his trial.
The death of the promising young officer shook the department, and condolences poured in from around the country.
The murder of a white policewoman by a black teenager set off a firestorm of debate, much of it racially charged. Last May, a Baltimore County jury convicted Harris of felony murder. His three accomplices pleaded guilty and face 30 years in prison. They are to be sentenced next month.
In the police interrogation, Harris first denied driving the stolen Jeep. Gradually, Barton, the homicide detective, teased out the boy’s account of confronting the officer.
“I didn’t want anything bad to happen,” Harris said.