A Baltimore police officer will not face charges after fatally shooting a Black teenage driver last year.
According to the Associated Press, Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates declined to pursue criminal charges against officer Connor Murray for the February 2022 killing of Donnell Rochester, an 18-year-old driver who was being pursued by police due to outstanding bench warrants.
In his findings, Bates said the officers acted “reasonably and lawfully” when they shot at Rochester's moving vehicle. According to Bates, Rochester drove towards Murray, putting the officer in a “life-threatening situation.”
A second officer, Robert Mauri, who fired two rounds against Rochester as he drove towards Murray, isn't expected to face criminal charges either.
Bates’ findings come despite an independent state investigation conducted by the Maryland Attorney General's Independent Investigations Division that found Rochester “no longer posed a threat” when Murray fired a fourth, deadly shot. Prosecutors could have likely proved that Murray committed voluntary manslaughter with his fourth shot, the investigative unit said.
“Officer Connor Murray already had dodged Rochester’s vehicle and was beside the car when he fired a fourth time, with no other officers or people in harm’s way — a circumstance where deadly force would not be reasonable, necessary or proportional,” their report states.
Both officers were placed on administrative duties amid an internal investigation.
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