Body camera footage released in fatal police-involved shooting of armed man after bailout
BALTIMORE (WBFF) – VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED | The 18-year-old armed man shot to death after a chase and confrontation with Baltimore City Police Tuesday afternoon has been identified as Curtis Jamal Deal and body camera footage of the fatal encounter has been released by authorities.
According to police, Deal, who was already known to police, raised and pointed a loaded 9 mm Ruger gun in "plain sight" at an officer, who out of fear for his life, shot the suspect around 3 p.m., fatally wounding him. Later, police recovered Deal’s weapon and determined the gun had been reported stolen from Washington County. Court records indicate Deal had been arrested three times in the last month and was released from jail the day before he was shot on felony drug and gun charges.
Investigators say the officer, Det. David Kincaid Jr., a five-year veteran of the force with no history of police-involved shootings was with his partner that afternoon. Commissioner Kevin Davis called them "discretionary assets" in the area where Deal had a history involving guns and drugs. Both were wearing tactical police vests, patrolling by Fulton Ave. and Booth St. when they noticed a man in a car with several passengers driving erratically and opening the car door several times. Officers, along with the help of the Foxtrot helicopter, were able to follow the vehicle and saw as the left rear passenger, Deal, bailed out at this intersection and took off running while the occupants inside the car continued driving.
In audio released during the bailout, it's clear officers immediately recognized and referenced Curtis Deal by his full name. Later, Davis said that at 18, Deal was "already a sophisticated criminal."
A foot chase involving Deal and one of the officers, Kincaid, ensued, and then Deal allegedly ran towards Monroe St. and down an alley off of Hollins St. while the officer kept running down Frederick Ave. They met each other face-to-face in an alley on Frederick Ave. and that’s when police body camera footage appears to show Deal with his finger on the trigger, raise his gun and point it towards the officer. Kincaid fired seven shots, four of which struck Deal in the abdomen. Davis said that the suspect had "every opportunity" to toss the gun during the foot chase which lasted a full minute, but he didn't, and further, he kept his finger on the trigger.
Deal was transported to Shock Trauma, where he was pronounced deceased the same day. The officers were uninjured.
The officer involved was wearing a body camera, which was activated during the shooting. The footage released Thursday is about 2:40 seconds longs but has been "dramatically" slowed down to show what occurred in about 30 seconds. Police say it shows enough "probable cause" for Kincaid to have fired his weapon. While some have questioned the officer's actions since Deal did not discharge his weapon, Commissioner Davis made it clear that, "You don’t need to shoot at a police officer for an officer to use a deadly weapon."
He also spoke at length about Deal's criminal history, saying he was "menacing the community."
"As we go into conversations about bail reforms," Davis said, we must be very careful because "theoretically Curtis Davis should still be alive" if he were in the system and getting the help and services he needed. He credited police with doing their job in locking up Deal three times and also said the State's Attorney's Office did its job in requesting a no bail status for Deal in his most recent January 4 arrest but the judge granted him bail.
He added that "This didn't have to happen, it was absolutely preventable," because Davis believes that sometimes being behind bars and getting services and help is good for a person like Deal.
Davis also said that when someone like Deal is seen bailing out of a vehicle or carrying a gun, he expects his officers "to go after those guys" and called his policemen involved "courageous."
This is the city's second police-involved shooting that was recorded on body worn cameras.