Annapolis residents march in protest of fatal shooting 18-year-old killed when officer fired

September 04, 1996|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

Under gray skies and drizzling rain, more than 150 residents of the Robinwood housing community on the outskirts of Annapolis walked 20 miles downtown last night to protest the fatal shooting of one of their neighbors.

Holding a banner that said, "It didn't have to be this way" and chanting "We want justice," the group lashed out at the Police Department and prayed for the life of a second man shot by an Annapolis police officer in the Sunday night incident.

Cochise Ornandez Daughtry, 18, of the 1300 block of Tyler Ave. on the southwestern edge of the city was declared dead early Monday morning at Anne Arundel Medical Center after being shot in the chest by Officer David W. Garcia, a seven-year veteran of the Annapolis force.

Anger over the shooting, which police say occurred after Garcia intervened in a beating and apparent robbery attempt, rose as residents gathered at First Baptist Church on West Washington Street.

Ruby Tyler, Daughtry's mother, who spoke at the rally, had a message for Garcia: "Your seven years has caused Cochise's mother and sister so many tears. For us, there are no more years."

"We have been mistreated by law enforcement in this town, and we're not taking it anymore," said Robert Eades, a community activist who helped organize the rally.

Police say they are investigating the shooting, which took place on the block where Daughtry lives. There, Garcia and another officer responded to a report of gunshots being fired. Finding nothing amiss, the second officer left to handle another call while Garcia stayed on Tyler Avenue

Police say Garcia saw two men chase a third man -- identified as Carlester Jackson, 40, of the 1400 block of Tyler Ave. -- and then beat Jackson and slash him with broken bottles. Garcia ordered the men to stop, investigators say, and when they refused, the officer fired at least three shots, striking Daughtry in the chest and Vernon Eugene Estep Jr., 19, of the 1100 block of Madison St.

Estep was in fair condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. He had not been charged in the incident. Jackson was admitted to Anne Arundel Medical Center for rib injuries and cuts.

Garcia was placed on administrative duty.

"I am not surprised by the persistent screams of racism," said Joseph S. Johnson, the city's first black police chief, who took over the department -- then rife with complaints of internal racism -- in 1994. "I am sick and tired of people like Eades fanning the fires of racism. The department has really made some tremendous strides and achievements. I do not want to defend the shooting until a proper investigation has occurred, but I do want to defend the department."

Pub Date: 9/04/96

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