Police say driver shot by police was 'determined to flee'

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said that a man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop Wednesday night was "determined not to cooperate" and tried to flee because he had crack cocaine in the vehicle.

The officer, who has not been identified, was dragged two blocks and fired several shots, killing 40-year-old Shawn Dewayne Dean. Dean's 19-year-old daughter was in the passenger seat and was not injured.

"We do numerous traffic stops every day of the year. The average citizen always cooperates," Batts told reporters. "Very rarely do you have one that drives off with an officer hanging on the side, fighting for his or her life."

The traffic stop occurred about 10 p.m. on Mannasota Avenue in the Belair-Edison neighborhood. Batts said Dean's car had rolled through a stop sign and was pulled over by plainclothes officers operating a marked vehicle. He said the officers identified themselves and noticed Dean was "extremely nervous."

"When the officer on the driver's side stepped away, [Dean] started the vehicle and drove off," Batts said.

Investigators are not sure how the officer got tangled up with the vehicle; Batts said the officer had invoked the state Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights, which provides officers a period of time to provide a statement.

Batts spoke at a news conference at police headquarters, flanked by top-ranking members of the command staff. He repeatedly spoke of the challenges officers face and how they put their lives on the line to protect residents.

"In this incident and incidents where deadly force is used, we will make sure everything is done by the book," Batts said.

City police have shot 15 people — six of them fatally — this year in 12 incidents. The number of people shot is the same as last year's total and more than in all of 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Police said Dean was on parole stemming from a drug conviction, and court records show he faced numerous firearm and drug-related charges in recent years that were dropped by city prosecutors. Deputy Commissioner John Skinner said a "felony amount" of cocaine was concealed in a passenger-side compartment.

Dean's friend, Jawauna Greene, said he had recently obtained his commercial driver's license and had a job offer. She said he was a "great guy."

"Ironically, he had been stopped so many times by police that he would never have dragged an officer," she said. "His daughter was in the car with him, and he would never put her life in danger."

Baltimore Sun reporter Carrie Wells contributed to this article.



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