Korryn Gaines was a 23 year old from Baltimore County, who was shot and killed by Baltimore County Police Officers on Monday, August 1, 2016. The News reports that the police came to Gaines house with a warrant for her (for a traffic violation) and a warrant for another man whom she lived with.
When police knocked on the door, there was no answer, so they obtained a key and entered. Gaines was sitting with her child with a shotgun. The police “negotiated” with her for several hours before Gaines reportedly (allegedly) pointed the shot gun and threatened to shoot the officers, at which time she was shot and killed. Her 5 year old child was also wounded, but not killed.
Here are my thoughts. I believe that Korryn Gaines had a mental disability of some sort and what police should have been trained to do was call in conflict negotiators, who were trained in psychology. I also think that shooting someone to kill should be an absolute last resort. For example, police could be trained better to use a taser or another non-lethal weapon to disarm people.
I feel that police are much too quick, sometimes, to shoot people, particularly people of color. There was an incident where a white man, William Bruce Ray shot at police, but he was not shot and killed. He was taken into custody. So obviously, police are capable of disarming and arresting people with guns, without killing them. In addition, I am not clear on why the child was shot.
if the officers account of events is true, I blame the Criminal Justice System and the poor training the policy makers give to their officers. I also feel that mental health care needs to be made more readily available to people.
It’s unfortunate and sad because a young woman is gone now and her children have lost a mother when all of this could’ve been prevented. Edit: as more details emerge, I may modify my opinion. We don’t know whether police were truthful or not and we don’t know why they didn’t want her posting her account on Facebook either.