Video has been released showing a Baltimore County, MD police officer fatally shooting a man during an altercation in Reisterstown on Wednesday.
19-year-old Keith McLeod was not armed when he was shot three times after police said he “whipped his hand around and pointing it toward the officer, as if with a weapon.”
McLeod, of Washington, D.C., was suspected of trying to buy cough syrup with a fake prescription at a nearby pharmacy, and fled on foot when officer David Earomirski arrived.
The footage shows the man swing his arm around before being shot by the officer and falling to the ground. McLeod was struck three times in the upper torso and can be seen continuing to struggle as the officer restrains him.
He was pronounced dead at a local hospital after the shooting.
Watch the raw footage:
The video, recorded by the surveillance cameras from a nearby business, was released Friday by the department which defended Earomirski’s actions.
“My police officer had one second to make a life-or-death decision,” Police Chief Jim Johnson said. “Any reasonable police officer or citizen encountering this situation would feel that they were facing imminent harm or death.”
Johnson added that witnesses heard McLeod tell the officer repeatedly, “I’m going to kill you.”
Earlier Friday, Tony Fugett, president of the Baltimore County chapter of the NAACP, had urged the Police Department to release the video saying, “I don’t want to take the [the police account] at face value. If it vindicates the officer, I’d think they’d want to make it public.”
Fugett could not be reached for comment after the video was released but Baltimore County residents have voiced their discontent about the footage on social media.
McLeod was described by neighbors as a “good man that tried to keep a job” and a “jokester.”