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Family of 17-year-old killed by Park Police demands the release of the body-camera footage

The Martin Family attorney alleges Dalaneo Martin was choked and shot multiple times.

WASHINGTON — The family of Dalaneo Martin, the 17-year-old fatally shot by a U.S. Park Police officer marched in Northeast D.C., saying that the teenager was choked and shot multiple times before crashing into a home. 

Loved ones marched along Benning Road Northeast to the 300 block of 36th Street Northeast where on Saturday, Mar. 18 'Debo' crashed a car after being shot by U.S. Park Police. 

Several families spoke at the event including his mother Terra Martin who was at the scene of the shooting and says that eight days later she is still left with several questions. 

"Why wasn't a taser deployed? Why was the officer in the back of the car?" said Dalaneo's mother who is demanding that the names of the officers involved be released. 

The Metropolitan Police Department's (MPD) Force Investigations Team is leading the investigation.  Investigators say Dalaneo was found sleeping inside a stolen car with the ignition running on the 3400 block of Baker Street Northeast. When officers determined the vehicle was stolen, MPD called for additional support from two U.S. Park Police officers according to their release. 

At around 9:30 a.m. officers from both agencies attempted to remove the teenager, but they allege that he resisted and drove away with the Park Police officer inside. The officer shot and killed Martin and the car crashed into the home on 36th Street Northeast. 'Debo' was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Martin Family lawyer, Andrew O. Clarke says that three days after the incident, they requested to see the body-camera footage but have not received a response from MPD.  The attorney is alleging that their investigation indicates that Martin was choked and shot several times. 

"We have information from a witness, that Mr. Martin was choked and also have information from the coroner that he was shot six times," said Clarke during the Sunday event.

Police say that a firearm was recovered from inside the car, but have not indicated whether it was in Martin's possession or was used during the interaction with officers. 

"If they show you an alleged gun, ask them to show you the body cam! Ask them to show you the whole thing," said Nee Nee Taylor, an activist with the organization Harriet's Wildest Dreams. 

Under District law, MPD is required to release body-worn camera footage in cases of excessive force, but U.S. Park Police does not have the same policy in place. WUSA9 reached out to MPD to determine whether the video will be released but did not get a response back. 

The Martin family addressed the allegations about the teenager being inside a stolen car and about the weapon found inside the car.  "No matter what the circumstances is. No matter what you found or what you think you found, my brother deserves to be here. He's 17," said Martin's older sister Rahketa Steele. She says 'Debo" was supposed to pick up his six-month-old son Jordan and his nephews to head to the park, but instead his family got the call that he was dead. 

The Martin Family's legal team is now calling on the Department of Justice for an independent investigation amid so many unanswered questions.

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