UPDATED: 11:09 p.m. ET —
A Black cop has been charged with murder for killing an unarmed Black man who was handcuffed inside of a police cruiser when he was fatally shot Monday night in Maryland. Prince George’s police Corporal Michael Owen, Jr. shot William Green, who was also restrained by a seat belt, seven times at close range. Owen was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and associated weapons charges.
A family is desperate for answers after a handcuffed man was killed by a cop on Monday night in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Although cops haven’t released the victim’s name yet, his fiancée has identified him as William Green.
Sandra Mathis went on ABC 7 News to express her frustration about the tragic and suspicious incident. “We want to know why our loved one was brutally shot in a police car – handcuffed- seat belt, and in the front seat,” she questioned. “What harm could this individual do to this police officer.”
According to ABC 7 News, 911 calls came in surrounding a driver hitting multiple vehicles on St. Barnabas Road and Green was stopped by police on Winston Street in Temple Hills. The responding officer claimed he smelled PCP in Green’s car, according to police reports.
The officer handcuffed Green and put him in the police cruiser’s front passenger seat as other officers searched for drugs with a K9.
Soon, a struggle occurred inside the police cruiser between the cop and Green. The details around the altercation still aren’t clear. Two witnesses told the cops that they heard two loud bangs inside the cruiser during the scuffle. Cops on the scene reportedly tried to give Green medical attention after he was shot. Then, he was rushed to the hospital where he died. The suspected officer was not wearing a body camera during the incident.
He was placed on administrative leave and at first, his name was set to be released on Tuesday. The Prince George’s Police Department Twitter page even said they had scheduled a press conference for 1:30 p.m., however, they rescheduled it to a “TBD” time.
A Twitter user under the name Liv is claiming to be Green’s cousin, and they don’t believe that Green was on drugs. “FU** ALL OF YOU AND FU** THE LIES YOUR TELLING ABOUTY COUSIN ! HE DIDNT DO PCP ! AND HOW THE FU** IS SOMEONE WHO IS HANDCUFFED IN THE CAR A DANGER,” they tweeted.
They later wrote, “I will fight with the last breath in me for justice. William Green was a family man, a working man. Funny. Loving. Love and miss you.”
Reporter Paul Wagner also tweeted a picture of Green during his arrest, writing, “This is William Green about 30minutes before he was shot to death while handcuffed inside a Prince George’s County police cruiser. A witness took video as police took Green out of his car. He appears calm in the clip obtained by @fox5dc.“
Green’s fiancée, Sandra Mathis, further told Fox 5, “We’ve got questions with no answers. We need to know what happened to William Green. His life matters. He was loved.”
ACLU of Maryland also released a statement, reading “We are calling for full transparency and accountability from PGPD. There is no reason why a handcuffed person should ever be shot multiple times by a police officer, let alone shot multiple times inside a patrol car. Anything short of that assessment would just demonstrate complete lack of respect for human life.”