A Black Maryland police officer was charged with murder after shooting an unarmed Black man seven times while he was handcuffed inside the officer’s police car.
Maryland police say Prince George’s County Police Cpl. Michael Owen Jr. is facing a murder charge as well as manslaughter and associated weapons charges in the fatal shooting of 43-year-old William Howard Green in Temple Hills, Maryland. “I’m unable to come to our community this evening and provide you with a reasonable explanation for the events that occurred last night. I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski.
On Monday, Owen and an accompanying officer responded to a call about a person ramming into parked vehicles in their car, according to WJLA. When they arrived, they found what they believed was a drunken Green. The officers then handcuffed the man and called for a “drug recognition expert,” an officer said in a police statement. The officers then put Green in the front passenger seat of Owen’s police cruiser until the expert arrived, but then Owen got in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, and police say, “Green was shot seven times by the officer’s duty weapon.”
Owen and the other officer then took Green out of the car and offered aid before he was taken to the hospital where he eventually died. No new details have been revealed about the incident, and authorities have not said what the other officer was doing while Owen was in the car with Green.
On Tuesday, police arrested Owen, who was with the force for 10 years, and on Wednesday, he was denied bond. Green’s fiancée, Sandra Mathis, said she is confused as to how Green could have prompted the officer to shoot him while he was handcuffed. “Obviously, he didn’t resist arrest because he was in handcuffs. His life mattered,” said Mathis.