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Cop shoots man in crowded street for groping his gf

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An off-duty Baltimore police officer shot and killed an unarmed man outside a Mount Vernon nightclub early Saturday. Police said the officer fired his service weapon at least 13 times on a crowded street after witnesses said the victim groped his female companion.

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The victim, identified as East Baltimore resident Tyrone Brown, 32, was hit at least six times in the chest and groin, according to the police spokesman. A former Marine who served four years in Iraq, Brown worked as a maintenance man at the city jail and was taking courses to become an electrician, relatives said. He had no criminal record but for a 5-year-old charge, eventually dropped, for having an open container of alcohol.

The officer, a 15-year veteran assigned to the Eastern District patrol division, fired his department issued Glock handgun at least 13 times, officials said.

The officer — who was not immediately identified in keeping with department policy — has been assigned to desk duty while the department investigates.

Brown had left the club with his sister and his sister's friend and were debating among themselves whether to go home or to the nearby Club Hippo when they encountered the officer and two women he was with at Hippo's back door, according to the sister, Chantay Kangalee, 30, of Baltimore County.

Kangalee said her brother put his hands on the behind of one of the women with the officer.

"He groped her," Kangalee said. "He was just joking. That was just my brother's sense of humor. I said, 'Stop that.'"

The woman he'd grabbed also spoke up, Kangalee said.

"She said, 'Don't do that. That's disrespectful,'" Kangalee said. "He said, 'My bad.' And then we were about to turn and go to the car and she walked up and swung at him."

Then the officer stepped up, she said.

"The guy pulled out his gun and he said, 'Do it again. Do it again,'" she said. "Now get on the ground."

Kangalee said Brown put his hands in the air started backing up, saying, "Wait a minute. Hold up." And then the officer started shooting, Kangalee said.

"The guy was in no harm, no danger," Kangalee said. "He could see he had no weapon, nothing."

The shooter never identified himself as an officer, she said.

"He didn't flash no badge," she said, adding that it was one of the women with the officer who first said so.

"He be a cop. He be a cop," Kangalee said the woman called out.

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Guglielmi (Police Rep) said the shooting happened about 1:30 a.m. outside Eden's Lounge on East Eager Street in Mount Vernon. Dozens of people were on the street including several uniformed city police officers who are routinely sent to the area on weekends because of past violence outside nearby bar and clubs.

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Guglielmi said Brown "approached and made advances toward the officer's female companion." McLarney said Brown grabbed and groped the woman. Police said the officer argued with the man, and then the altercation became physical.

McLarney said the officer identified himself as a member of law enforcement and gave "verbal commands" to Brown to stop fighting. At some point, Guglielmi said the officer took out his semi-automatic service weapon and fired. Officials said the two men were standing just a few feet apart.

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Baltimore police officers are required to carry their service weapons at all times while on and off duty when they're within the city limits. But McLarney said commanders urge them to use common sense and sound judgment. They are not required to carry weapons when doing so would be impractical, such as playing a pickup game of football or swimming.

There are no rules prohibiting officers from carrying guns into bars, but it is against department regulations to be intoxicated or inebriated while armed. Police officials said if an officer plans on drinking to excess while off duty, common sense dictates leaving their guns secured and at home.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-police-shooting-club-20100605,0,806075.story?page=1

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