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Maryland AG releases video of Baltimore officer fatally hitting scooter rider while responding to call


Christine Condon

Baltimore Sun

Video released Monday shows a Baltimore Police officer driving through a red light before striking a man driving a scooter through the intersection.

The crash, which is being investigated by the Maryland Attorney General’s Independent Investigations Division, killed the scooter rider, 58-year-old Terry Harrell of Baltimore.

On June 21, Baltimore Police Officer Alexis Acosta was driving with his lights and sirens on when he struck Harrell, according to the division. At the time, the police department said he had been responding to a fight in the 2800 block of East Preston Street, in which one woman was taken to the hospital with lacerations from a sharp weapon and another woman was arrested.

Video footage from Acosta’s body camera shows him passing through at least two intersections with red lights and one with a stop sign at a fairly constant speed before striking Harrell, who was driving through the intersection of East Biddle Street and North Milton Avenue and had a green light.

A Baltimore Police CitiWatch camera at North Milton Avenue and East Chase Street also captured the crash. It showed Harrell proceeding down the road before being struck, which launched him from the scooter.

After the crash, Harrell was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead June 23. Acosta was not injured, according to the division.

The police department’s Emergency Vehicle Operation policy states that officers driving with their lights and sirens activated can “proceed through a red light or stop signal, a stop sign, or a yield sign, but only after slowing down as necessary for safety.”

Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the video and about Acosta’s current status with the department.

The Independent Investigations Division — formed in 2021 — is tasked with investigating all police-involved incidents that result in the death of a civilian or cause injuries likely to result in a civilian’s death. The division produces a report on incidents, but local state’s attorneys are responsible for deciding whether to bring charges.

Thomas Lester, spokesman for the division, could not confirm that Officer Acosta drove through red lights leading up to the crash, saying that the office is still completing its investigation.

Because Harrell was pronounced dead two days later, the division was not on the scene of the crash, Lester said, and received information from the BPD C.R.A.S.H. Team, which had begun its investigation and accident reconstruction. The IID is investigating the crash going forward, he said.

©2022 Baltimore Sun. Visit baltimoresun.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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