In Maryland, police have the power to slaughter conservative gun owners in their beds without facing any charges.
Meanwhile, MS-13 gang members walk the streets freely.
On Thursday, prosecutors ruled out criminal charges against a police officer who shot a man in his bed five times during a no-knock tactical raid on the man’s family home.
Duncan Socrates Lemp’s family says the 21-year-old was sleeping in his bed next to his girlfriend when a Montgomery County police officer opened fire, but prosecutors [claimed] that Lemp pointed a rifle at the officer and posed a threat.
Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson Jr.’s office, which reviewed the case and presented evidence to a grand jury, said in a 17-page report that the unidentified officer was justified in using deadly force.
Members of a tactical unit were serving the no-knock search warrant at the Lemp family’s home about 4:30 a.m. on March 12 when the officer fired five shots through a shattered window from outside, hitting Lemp all five times.
Family attorney Rene Sandler said the report reveals that no body camera videos captured the shooting. She also noted that prosecutors concluded there was no evidence of any crossfire or that Lemp’s gun had been fired.
Sandler said the family, who also is represented by attorney Jon Fellner, is “extremely disappointed that prosecutors declined to charge for the murder of their son,” and they question and disagree with the legal analysis by prosecutors, who they believe “got it wrong, both factually and legally.”
“In reaching their conclusion, they had to unfortunately ignore very important facts from eyewitnesses,” she added. Sandler said the family likely will sue “everyone responsible.”
Sandler said that the Montgomery County State’s Attorney obtained portions of the grand jury testimony of certain evidence and certain witnesses that the Lemps and their lawyers were prohibited from seeing.
“And he did not obtain all of the information. So there’s a lack of transparency here and incredibly unfair process for this grieving family,” Sandler said.
Sandler said that the report was not complete, and it failed to take into consideration eyewitness testimony. She said the Montgomery County State’s Attorney “cherry-picked selected, certain portions of grand jury testimony,” which the Lemps’ lawyers are not allowed to see or use in any way, but there was no information on the officer who fatally shot Lemp.
Sandler is calling upon the Montgomery County State’s Attorney to join in seeking the release of the entirety of the grand jury transcripts and information, “so that the public can make their own factual determinations of what took place on March 12.”
Detectives obtained the no-knock warrant to search Lemp’s home after receiving an anonymous tip that he illegally possessed firearms, police said. Lemp had a criminal record as a juvenile that made it illegal for him to legally possess or buy firearms in Maryland until he turned 30, according to police.
A “confidential source” told investigators in February that Lemp was involved in the Three Percenters and had made “anti-police” statements in the past, prosecutors said.
“The police felt that knocking and announcing their presence would put the officers in serious danger if Lemp decided to resist his arrest,” prosecutors wrote.
Sandler said that there was no evidence that has been provided to them or can be relied upon to show that Lemp was an imminent threat to the public or to anyone,
“And the police chose the most lethal possible way to talk to Mr. Lemp at 4:30 in the morning, by shooting and killing him through his window of his bedroom, where he was sleeping next to his pregnant girlfriend,” Sandler said.
Lemp’s parents, Mercedes and Matt Lemp, told The Associated Press in October that their son wasn’t a threat to the tactical unit officers who stormed their house. They also don’t believe he was part of any extremist movement.
Lemp’s girlfriend, Kasey Robinson, and his parents have said the software engineer was asleep in his bedroom when police fired at him from outside the house in Potomac, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Prosecutors said the evidence doesn’t support Robinson’s contention that bullets shattered the bedroom window. They believe that it was more likely that Robinson heard another SWAT team member manually break the window before the officer fired.
“Anyone put through that kind of sensory overload would have difficulty recalling exactly what happened. It’s an extremely chaotic situation” the report says.
The officer who fatally shot Lemp was placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure.
Police detectives recovered three rifles and two handguns from the home.
“Regardless of what was found, or alleged to have been found after the fact, there is no articulable fact by the police or by anyone that suggest that Duncan Lemp was violent or a threat to any person in order to obtain a no knock-police warrant,” Sandler said.
Robinson’s attorney, Cary Hansel, believes Howard County prosecutors “cherry-picked” secret grand jury testimony to cite in their report. Hansel called on the state’s attorney to publicly release all of the testimony and evidence they presented to the grand jury.
“The two issues are: What charges if any were presented to the grand jury, and then what decision if any did the grand jury make?” he asked.
SWAT officers executed the warrant around 4:30 a.m. on March 12, with the plan to “dual-breach” the house.
Two officers were supposed to break the window of Lemp’s bedroom, which was in the garage attached to the house, an operation called a “break and rake.” The other officers were supposed to use a battering ram — a large beam — to break down the front door.
One officer told prosecutors that at 4:42 a.m., an officer used a pike tool — a metal-topped pole — to break the window of the bedroom where Lemp was sleeping with his girlfriend, Kasey Robinson.
While the dual-breach was happening, other SWAT officers deployed “flashbangs” outside the home to “disorient the senses of the occupants of the house as to what was happening.”
All this for a man who had NOT committed any actual crimes…