There’s been another police involved shooting in Baltimore, but this one is being handled much differently than recent incidents that sparked mass protests in the city. Reporters were shown the bodycam footage of a Baltimore SWAT supervisor giving the order for his officer to kill a man who was holding two children hostage with a kitchen knife.
[Scroll Down for Video]
“I want you to be relaxed,” he said, “and I want you to walk in there and kill this guy.”
The Baltimore Police had tried negotiating with Reno Owens, who was holding a one-year-old and four-year-old hostage on Friday, but the negotiations went nowhere.
39-year-old Reno Owens was believed to have been under the influence of drugs, and he’d been staying with his cousin. It was her children he took hostage.
The video had audio of Owens screaming at the children, and then calmly singing “Rock-a-bye Baby.”
SWAT Officer Zachary Wein was given the task of taking Owens down. Wein walked up the stairs. He tried one last time to negotiate with Owens, who answered “I’d rather go out this way.”
Wein obliged. He fired a single shot into Owens’ head.
The BPD has not released the entire video. After reviewing the footage, they decided to hold parts of it back so that the children wouldn’t see it. “As they go through their childhood, adolescence and rest of their lives, we didn’t want to create a video footprint they would be exposed to,” Police Commissioner Davis said at a news conference.
The shooting of Owens is not proving controversial. Instead, the emphasis is being placed on the order to kill him. The public has grown accustomed to seeing these decisions play out, but the exchanges that lead up to them are rarely captured on camera.