Montgomery, Howard Sign Agreement on Police-Involved Shootings

The state’s attorneys of Howard and Montgomery counties inked a pact Tuesday that would spell out how the counties would investigate deaths from police-involved shootings.

Previously, the two counties were working under a verbal agreement dating back to 2015, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said. Howard County would investigate Montgomery’s cases, and vice versa.

And although the agreement comes after the killing of Robert White, an unarmed black man in Silver Spring, the details of the agreement are not connected to the case, he said.

“There is not a direct tie-in between this document to the Robert White killing,” McCarthy said.

On June 11, 2018, Officer Anand Badgujar approached White on Three Oaks Drive. White became combative and the two scuffled. Badgujar shot White.

The incident was captured on body cameras worn by Badgujar and a second officer who arrived to offer help.

Six weeks after the shooting, then-Howard County State’s Attorney Dario J. Broccolino declined to charge Badgujar. Then earlier this month, former police chief Tom Manger ruled the shooting “lawful and justified.”

Community members criticized the handling of the case, questioning why Badgujar didn’t do more to de-escalate the tense exchange with White.

McCarthy said his office has heard the complaints.

“I think this agreement addresses the concerns of those individuals, but the agreement was not drafted for the people who offered those critiques,” he said.

Howard County State’s Attorney Richard Gibson said the agreement spells out specific procedures that would govern both offices when an officer kills a citizen.

“It’s all done in an effort toward growing our community’s faith in us, in our police and in our process,” Gibson said.

Gibson, who was elected in November, said he wanted a written memorandum of understanding between the two counties. He was unaware of the White case until recently.

“What I wanted to address is the overarching issue that our communities are losing faith in our law enforcement,” Gibson said.

The White case prompted Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando to draft the Law Enforcement Trust and Transparency Act. It calls for independent investigations of deaths from police-involved shootings.

Jawando praised the Howard-Montgomery MOU.

“It’s a good thing in my view,” he said.

His legislation would require independent police investigations; the MOU keeps prosecutions indepdendent, he said.

“Having both of them is good,” he said.

Jawando’s legislation passed out of the council’s Public Safety Committee Friday on a 3-0 vote. The full council is expected to vote on it May 7. All nine members of the council have signed on as co-sponsors.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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