On Monday, lawyers for the family of Korryn Gaines notified the Baltimore County Police Department of their intent to sue for $4 million, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Attorney Jimmy A. Bell sent the letter to Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, alleging the officers involved in the August 1 shooting demonstrated excessive force, suppression of speech, negligence, and other claims.
The lawsuit also names the cop who shot Gaines, Officer First Class Ruby. An agreement between the state and police union only allows the release of the officer’s last name in police-involved shootings, The Sun reports.
A new narrative emerged in the letter based on the account of Ramone Coleman, Gaines’ neighbor who was barricaded in his apartment during the hours-long standoff between her and police.
“Put your guns down and I’ll put mine down and come out,” Gaines said, according to Coleman. “They said no. And they said they were not leaving,” he said.
Other allegations inside the letter claim the BCPD turned Gaines’ Randallstown apartment complex into a “command post.” In a previous interview, Bell said the department’s actions proved that Gaines’ life “did not matter to [police].”
The Sun writes:
“…police drilled holes in Coleman’s living room, bedroom and bathroom walls to monitor Gaines’ movements with surveillance equipment that was connected to TV-like monitors in his apartment ‘so they could watch what was going on in her apartment from different angles.’ The officers, dressed in dark green uniforms, were carrying rifles, according to the letter.”
In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Coleman said he and his 1-year-old daughter were not allowed to leave the premises and at least eight officers were in his home at one time.
He said he overheard an officer tell Gaines, “I’m sick of this s–t. Put the gun down,” before the fatal shots were fired.
Afterwards, Coleman’s wife was so upset, the family moved to another unit in the complex.
“I don’t think she deserved to die like that,” Coleman said. “Hopefully, we can stop the killing, whether it be from cops or non-cops.”
The letter goes on to say the BCPD violated Gaines’ constitutional rights by blocking her livestream on Facebook, and prohibited family members who wanted to help. The county’s mobile crisis team – which joins police with mental health professionals – never arrived on the scene, according to attorneys.
The lawsuit will name the county and Ruby as defendants, reports The Sun.
Kamenetz has yet to respond to the letter filed by Gaines’ attorney. A spokesperson for the BCPD said the investigation is still ongoing.
SOURCE: The Baltimore Sun | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty