Woodlawn Officer Cleared Months After Deadly Shooting
WOODLAWN, MD — Nearly nine months after a Baltimore County officer shot and killed a man in Woodlawn, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General released a new report on the investigation.
The attorney general's office was called to investigate the death in accordance with a state law that requires its Independent Investigations Division (IID) to handle deadly officer-involved shootings.
Jovan Lewis Singleton, 36, of Baltimore, died following a shootout near the 6700 block of Windsor Mill Road after 2 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 11, police said.
Lt. Mead, the officer who shot Singleton, is a 26-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department in charge of the midnight shift at the Woodlawn precinct, officials said.
The attorney general's office provided its findings on March 30, concluding that the officer's actions did not warrant charges.
In April, the Baltimore County state's attorney determined it would not be pressing charges against the officer involved. In its own investigation, the county conducted an interview with a Maryland State Police (MSP) detective, which was released by the attorney general along with a statement on Tuesday, July 5.
Mead said he was responding to a hit-and-run crash with four possibly armed people who bailed out of a vehicle nearby, soon after another crime — an armed robbery at the 7-Eleven on Windsor Mill Road near Featherbed Lane around 2 a.m. that day, according to the interview.
Mead said his priority was to secure the area around the crash, which occurred near residences and could be related to the armed robbery. The hit-and-run crash was on Dogwood Road at Gwynn Oak Avenue, police said at the time.
Some of the report released Tuesday focuses on Mead's body camera, which was not turned on, he said, because he had been charging it and prioritized getting to the scene and securing the area. It required more than the flip of a switch to turn on the camera, which has multiple parts. He also was not able to get on the radio because there was so much going on over the air, he said.
Near the crash scene, Mead said he encountered someone who was walking in the neighborhood and since it was 2 a.m. and the person had dreadlocks, which the armed robbery suspects did, he asked the man to sit on the curb and answer some questions, according to the county's report, which was released by the attorney general. The man appeared as if he was going to comply but then took off running. Mead saw a muzzle flash, and he was hit in the knee, the report said. The officer fired six or seven times, the report said. He said he shot at the man because the suspect fired first, and "If I did not shoot, I'd be dead," Mead said.
While the findings did not change the conclusions the attorney general's office arrived at, officials said that Baltimore County's use of Maryland State Police in its investigation drove a policy change.
"Because of the confusion that such an arrangement could create, MSP and the IID have now established a policy that MSP will not conduct interviews on IID cases without consultation and coordination with IID personnel," the IID said in its report released Tuesday.
Read the new report from the Maryland Attorney General's Independent Investigations Unit.