Black Lives Matter DC activists held a protest Tuesday (June 12) to call attention to the “unjust murder” of an unarmed Black man in Maryland.
Robert Lawrence White, 41, was fatally shot in Silver Spring on Monday (June 11) by Montgomery County Police Department officer Anand Badgujar, a two-year veteran assigned to the Patrol Division. The shooting has set off a Major Crimes Division investigation, with Badgujar placed on paid administrative leave, according to the Montgomery County police. Lawrence’s killing has also set off national outrage as activists demand justice for the man, calling the killing “murder” and “unjust.”
White, of Silver Spring, encountered Badgujar about 2:15 p.m. Monday when the officer attempted to speak with him while investigating a “suspicious” person reported in the area, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger told reporters. A minutes-long confrontation ensued between White and Badgujar, who attempted to pepper spray the man. Assistance was requested by Badgujar, who is of Indian descent, before White, who was unarmed, began walking away from the scene, according to police. White moved close to the officer, who then discharged his weapon after a scuffle, the department said. Instead of a de-escalation tactic, more rounds were fired at White, who fell to the ground and received medical assistance before being pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Badgujar’s body-camera footage, as well as that from the second unidentified officer who assisted Badgujar, is being reviewed by Manger and has not been released yet. The department, working with the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office, will release video after closing the case, police said.
The Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office will review the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division investigation findings and determine if Badgujar “acted within the law and if the circumstances of the case need to be brought before a grand jury.”