Howard Green was daughter Brenda Green’s best friend and protector; he called her every morning to wish her a good day and every evening to bid her a good night, she said at a Thursday news conference addressing her dad’s killing.
A policeman fatally shot the 43-year-old Monday as he sat handcuffed in a patrol cruiser in Temple Hills, Maryland.
“I’m the definition of a daddy’s girl — who no longer has her daddy,” Brenda Green told reporters. “I’ve dreamt of the day that my daddy could be able to walk me down the aisle and I wanted him to be able to see his future grandchildren, but that day will never come.”
Relatives and a family attorney shared anecdotes about Howard Green — who they described as fun-loving, peaceful and quick to make folks smile — amid calls for greater scrutiny of both the officer who killed Green and the department that employed the officer.
Officer held without bail
Prince George’s County Police Cpl. Michael Owen Jr. faces murder, manslaughter and weapons charges after allegedly shooting Green at least six times as Green sat handcuffed in the front seat of his police car.
CNN could not immediately reach Owen’s attorney, Jonathon Scruggs, for comment. The office was arrested Tuesday and is being held without bail, the State’s Attorney’s Office said. Owen is a 10-year veteran of the department who’d been assigned to patrol duties.
The day after Owen’s arrest, the family of a man that Owen is accused of killing in 2011 requested that the State’s Attorney’s Office for Prince George’s County revisit evidence from the 8-year-old case. The office assigned an attorney to conduct a review, said Denise Roberts, the prosecutor’s spokeswoman.
The American Civil Liberties Union and family attorney William Murphy demanded authorities take a closer look at two PGPD incidents last year that left one man dead and another paralyzed. Owen is not known to have been involved in the incidents.
“I am too familiar with these constant police deaths and this constant police brutality, and this has to go down as one of the worst in American history and it has shocked the nation. It must be stopped,” Murphy said, threatening to file a lawsuit if the county did not fairly compensate the family.
The first of the two incidents Murphy cited occurred in September when Prince George’s County and Hyattsville officers shot a reportedly disoriented Leonard Shand, said Deborah Jeon, legal director for the ACLU of Maryland.
In the second incident, in October, Prince George’s officers allegedly beat Demonte Ward-Blake during a traffic stop, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, she said in a statement.
Like in the Green shooting, Jeon said, officers were not recording the encounters on body cameras in either of the 2019 incidents.
“It is completely unacceptable for a police department that is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice — and being sued by its own Black and Latinx police officers for fostering a culture of racism — to still not have body worn cameras equipped on all of their officers, especially given that (Prince George’s County Police Department’s body-worn camera) program was rolled out in 2017,” she said.
The 2019 cases remain open and the Prince George’s County Police Department is cooperating with a State’s Attorney’s Office investigation, PGPD spokeswoman Christina Cotterman told CNN.
Three officers were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the Shand shooting, CNN affiliate WJZ reported. The officer in the alleged Ward-Blake beating was also placed on administrative leave amid an investigation, CNN affiliate WJLA reported.
On the Green shooting, Police Chief Hank Stawinski held a news conference this week, extending his condolences to the victim’s family and asserting there were no circumstances in which the shooting was acceptable.
“I’m unable to come to our community this evening and provide you with a reasonable explanation for the events that occurred last night,” he told reporters. “I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime.”
No body camera footage
Officers responded Monday to reports of someone slamming a car into parked vehicles and upon arrival arrested Green, police said.
They believed Green was “under the influence of a substance” and requested a drug recognition expert, police said in a statement. Green was placed in the front seat of the police cruiser while they waited, police said.
Owen later got in the driver’s seat of the police car and, at some point, “Green was shot seven times by the officer’s duty weapon,” police said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Video footage of the incident is not available. Unlike some officers in the police department, Owen was not wearing a body camera, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said.
After the shooting, Owen and the other officer took Green out of the cruiser and offered him aid. He was then taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.
It’s unclear what led to the shooting.
“There is no reason why a handcuffed person should ever be shot multiple times by a police officer, let alone shot multiple times inside a patrol car. Anything short of that assessment would just demonstrate complete lack of respect for human life,” the ACLU’s Jeon said.