Marchers demand prosecution of officers in shooting death

February 08, 1994|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Sun Staff Writer

A dozen people marched from East Baltimore to City Hall yesterday to demand the prosecution of two police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 31-year-old man Wednesday night.

Carrying signs and singing "We Shall Overcome," the protesters emerged from a meeting with an aide to Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke pledging to continue their demonstrations until criminal charges are brought against the two officers.

Police say Anthony Darryl Redd, of the 1500 block of Stonewood Road, suffered gunshot wounds in the stomach and face while struggling with two plainclothes members of Violent Crimes Task Force.

The bullet that hit Redd in the stomach came from a .357-caliber Magnum pistol he was carrying, and the other bullet -- a 9-mm slug -- came from an officer's pistol, according to police.

Police say Redd had the .357-caliber Magnum tucked into his waistband when the officers tackled him at the corner of Hoffman and Holbrook streets and the weapon discharged during the struggle.

Neither of the officers, Lewis G. Yamin, 28, and Stephen C. Nalewajko Jr., 36, was hurt during the incident that occurred in a drug-infested area near Green Mount Cemetery. The officers belong to a task force that was formed in July 1992 to combat crime in the city's toughest areas.

There are sharply conflicting accounts of the shooting. Four witnesses have told The Sun that the officers shot Redd as he lay helpless on the ground. But police have interviewed other witnesses who corroborate the officers' account, Sam Ringgold, a police spokesman, said yesterday.

Yesterday's protesters, who included a godmother and friends of Redd, said they were convinced that police were to blame for the shooting.

"I think it was just a cold-blooded murder," said Vandora Perry, a friend of Redd, who wore a sign saying, "We Saw You This Time."

The protesters met briefly with Clinton R. Coleman, an aide to Mr. Schmoke. Mr. Coleman said a meeting would be arranged between the protesters and top police officials.

Stuart O. Simms, the city state's attorney, said his office has begun its investigation and is reviewing physical evidence to determine the circumstances of the shooting. "I think there's evidence on all sides of the spectrum," Mr. Simms said. "What we're trying to do is analyze it and determine whether there is probable cause" to bring charges against the officers.

The officers have been given desk jobs pending completion of the investigations into the shooting. A police department internal investigation will focus on whether the officers followed proper procedures and obeyed the department's guidelines on the use of deadly force. The guidelines generally say officers must be placed in fear of their lives or the lives of others before firing their weapons.

Redd had a criminal history dating to 1978. He was convicted of manslaughter in 1987 and served a two-year jail term with eight years of his sentence suspended. He was given a two-year suspended sentence and two years' probation in 1989 after pleading guilty to drug possession and conspiracy.

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