Neighbors mourn young man's death

Protest, rally planned outside mayoral forum

October 10, 1999|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

The Barclay neighborhood remained tense yesterday as people gathered at a makeshift memorial where a 21-year-old man was killed by a police officer Thursday.

Young men cried openly and elderly women hurled insults at police cruisers in the 2000 block of Barclay St., where balloons, flowers and even liquor bottles were arranged on the sidewalk and along a brick wall.

"Its not over," was spray-painted on the sidewalk where Baltimore police Officer Barry W. Hamiliton shot Larry J. Hubbard in the back of the head.

Community leaders are appealing for calm, and plan to hold a rally and protest Wednesday evening outside a forum for mayoral candidates.

"The rally is necessary to put pressure on city officials and the state's attorney to send this case to the grand jury for an indictment of a killer cop," said Andre Powell, a rally organizer.

Police said Hamilton and Officer Robert J. Quick Jr. stopped Hubbard after he fled from a suspected stolen vehicle. Hubbard tried to seize Quick's gun, which came loose during a struggle, and Hamilton shot the suspect in the head, police said.

But witnesses said Hubbard never reached for the officer's gun and that the officers punched him, tripped him and shot him as he pleaded for his life.

"I think it's ridiculous, and there needs to be something done about it," said Kathy J. Hartfield, 60. "When you shoot someone in the head, you are shooting to kill."

Hartfield and others said they believe Hamilton should be arrested and put on trial for the man's death. Police spokeswoman Angelique Cook-Hayes said it could be weeks or months before the investigation is completed. City homicide detectives will do the preliminary investigation and forward their findings to the state's attorney's office, which could try the case before a grand jury.

Henry Belsky, lawyer for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3, said he believes the officers acted appropriately.

The protest is scheduled at 5 p.m. Wednesday -- the same day as Hubbard's funeral -- in front of the Enoch Pratt central library on Cathedral Street, where Democrat Martin J. O'Malley and Republican David F. Tufaro are scheduled at a forum.

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