BALTIMORE — It’s been less than two months since 18-year-old Donnell Rochester was killed by Baltimore City Police.
It happened in Northwest Baltimore on February 19th near Hillen Road and Chilton Street.
Rochester was a senior in high school and would’ve graduated in June 2022. Now his loved ones like Pastor Rodney Hudson say they are left fighting for justice for his killers to be held accountable.
“He should be here today preparing for his graduation, he should be here today dancing with his mother,” Hudson said.
Instead of preparing for a graduation, Rochester’s loved ones said they’re now left with the memories they once shared with him.
“This is a young man that I baptized and then had to do his eulogy, so this is very deeply personal for me,” Hudson said.
Pastor Hudson said he’s known Donnell and his family for most of his life. Donnell was part of the LGBTQ community with a passion for entertainment.
“He was a practical joker always laughing always having fun. Donnell used to sing in the children’s choir,” Hudson said.
Hudson said it’s the precious memories he tries to hold on to, because remembering the day he got the news of Donnell being shot down by police still haunts him.
“First of all, I was just in a total state of shock. I could’ve never thought that this would’ve happened,” Hudson said.
Body camera footage released from Baltimore Police about a week after the incident showed officers Robert Mauri and Connor Murray shooting into Rochester’s car as he tried to drive away.
“From my opinion it was clear to me that there were some protocols that had not been followed and because of that there needs to be some accountability,” Hudson said.
Commissioner Harrison said police were initially trying to stop Rochester because he had a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear in court.
The day the body camera footage was release WMAR-2 News asked the Commissioner if proper protocols were followed.
“That is a that’s a question that the investigation will ask and produce an answer for. We want to make sure the officers are safe and doing what needs to be done what we asked them to do to protect the residence of Baltimore . But, certainly looking at what the law allows and what our policy allows the investigation will certainly produce the answer then and inform us,” Harrison said.
Rochester’s loved ones say that’s not enough now they want those two officers to pay for killing Donnell.
“This is not the first instance of these things going on Freddie Gray, who lived right across the street from our church, who came to our church on a weekly basis in some cases just to eat in our soup kitchen...the same thing happened to him. There must be some changes to happen in the way we do policing in our city. Someone must answer for this,” Hudson said.
This weekend some of Donnell’s family and friends organized protests outside city hall demanding justice for Donnell – the family is also waiting to hear from the attorney general concerning the investigation . Baltimore Police said all involved officers have been place on administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.