WUSA9 has obtained video of a controversial officer-involved shooting that injured a man in Prince George's County this Spring.
It happened in April as Laurel police responded to an alarm call at the Indus Food International Market.
According to a City of Laurel press release, published in April, officers encountered a male teenager when they got to the scene. The officers allegedly told the 15-year-old to stop. The City of Laurel said the teen refused, so officers then decided to taze him.
After that, four Laurel officers then searched the rest of the property for any more suspected burglars.
Body camera video shows an officer on the scene switching a flashlight and gun between his hand as he peers into a door.
The officer then opens the door and fires his weapon.
The video later reveals that the officer had hit Rashawn Curbeam, 20, of Nottingham, Maryland. Curbeam had fallen to the ground on the other side of the door.
The officer immediately runs toward Curbeam to give him first aid. The video showed that Curbeam had been shot in the back.
At the time of the shooting, the City of Laurel called the officer's actions "unintentional". The city's press release added the officer had been startled by Curbeam's movement in the dark.
Curbeam's lawyer, Patrick Preller, disagreed with that assertion. He released this statement to WUSA9:
"First, this was not a police justified shooting. Mr. Curbeam was unarmed, shot in the back and not posing a threat to the officer when he was shot down.We believe the video speaks for itself, and while we understand the Laurel Police Department deems this tragedy an accident, we disagree and believe the video shows otherwise. Police officers are in a unique position of power and authority in our communities; and as such they have a responsibility to be transparent and accountable for their actions. They are specifically trained only to use deadly force when necessary. Deadly force was clearly not necessary in this instance, and even under the most generous interpretation of the officer's actions in this event, there is no possible interpretation under which the officer's actions were warranted or should be excused."
The officer who shot Curbeam has not been named. However, the City of Laurel says he is a 17-year veteran of the force who also serves as a SWAT team member and firearms instructor.
Sources also tell WUSA9 that a Prince George's Grand Jury recently chose not to indict the officer for his actions in the case.
Preller said he was disappointed with the grand jury's decision. He said his law firm plans to file a motion with the court to seek a copy of the grand jury testimony.
"Grand jury proceedings are not open to the public and as such, we were not permitted to attend that hearing to see what evidence was presented against the officer," Preller said.
WUSA9 has learned that Curbeam is expected to appear in a Prince George's County court next week to face burglary charges in connection to the case.
A spokesperson for the City of Laurel declined to give WUSA9 a comment regarding the new body camera video when asked late Tuesday night.