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10 officers from 3 police agencies shoot, kill armed man after 30 minutes of negotiation

Posted: 8:50 AM, Sep 26, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-29 10:01:28-04
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Leonard Shand.jpeg

HYATTSVILLE, Md. (WMAR) — Police from three different agencies shot and killed a suspect who allegedly charged them with two knives Thursday morning in Hyattsville.

Officers with the Hyattsville Police Department initially responded to a report of an armed person near a coffee shop in the area of Toledo and Belcrest Roads.

Upon their arrival, officers found 49-year-old Leonard Shand armed with two knives.

Officials say a few days ago police responded to the same coffee shop for Shand after he had allegedly beaten and bloodied an employee with a steel pipe.

At that time Shand had already ran off before police could get there.

For about a half hour, police say they tried unsuccessfully to get Shand to drop his weapons.

During that time police followed Shand up and down a quarter mile radius, to prevent him from going into traffic.

Officers from the Mt. Rainier and Prince George's County Police Department's also responded to assist.

Three officers tried tasing Shand and one sprayed mace all which had no affect.

Police also used a flash bang to try and distract Shand, while a supervisor fired four beanbags from a non-lethal shotgun, which also didn't work.

Shand was allegedly heard threatening the supervisor, saying he embraced death, before charging at him.

The officers then responded by firing multiple shots, killing Shand.

Six of the officers were from the Hyattsville Police Department, three were Prince George's County officers, and one was an officer with Mt. Rainier.

Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said he has reviewed body worn and dashboard camera footage of the incident.

All officer's involved have been put on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

A statement was released by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland regarding the shooting death. Their full statement can be read below:

"A Black man was killed in Hyattsville this morning. He was in a disoriented state when officers with the Prince George’s County, Mt. Rainier, and Hyattsville Police Departments shot and killed him during a confrontation. Given the pattern of Maryland law enforcement officers gunning down Black and Brown people and their selective release of information, we are challenging the officers' narrative. Their language only continues to paint victims as threats while wiping their hands clean of any wrongdoing.

"The police claim to have spent nearly 30 minutes containing this man and using “less than lethal force,” which is not the same thing as de-escalation. Based on the press conference PGPD gave, there was no mention of a health professional ever called to come on-scene to peacefully de-escalate the situation. Instead officers followed the man with their guns pointed.

"Officers used a flashbang grenade, which inevitably led to the killing of this man, who has not yet been identified. Running away from an exploding flashbang grenade is a natural and inevitable response. The police created a dangerous situation, causing an armed man to run towards them, and then used the inevitable result of their actions as the justification to shoot him.

"This was exemplified today with the PGPD Twitter account (@PGPDNews) choosing to release photos of bloody knives that the victim was alleged to have been carrying, instead of the vast body cam and/or dashcam footage that they claim to have of the incident. Bystanders, however, have taken numerous videos of what happened. In the footage released, nobody was seen to be stabbed. The police officers shot multiple times, and not only left bullet holes in the victim’s body but bullet holes in nearby buildings that could have easily hit any other passerby.

"Poor training and systematic racism are not excuses for Maryland police agents to kill Black and Brown people at will with no accountability. Together we must put a stop to police brutality and the needless killings of Black and Brown people. We cannot afford to fail in this goal because lives are at stake."