BOWIE – The Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) Internal Affairs Division and Criminal Investigations Division are currently investigating a shooting incident that involved a Bowie police officer. “On August 8, 2018, at approximately 5:20 PM a Bowie officer initiated a traffic stop on Elder Oaks Blvd at Excalibur Road. During the stop, an altercation […]
BOWIE – The Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) Internal Affairs Division and Criminal Investigations Division are currently investigating a shooting incident that involved a Bowie police officer.
“On August 8, 2018, at approximately 5:20 PM a Bowie officer initiated a traffic stop on Elder Oaks Blvd at Excalibur Road. During the stop, an altercation ensued, and the officer discharged his weapon,” said Bowie Police Chief John Nesky. The suspect fled and is still outstanding. The officer suffered minor injuries. Prince George’s County Police is assuming control of the investigation, and further updates will be provided by them.”
According to a PGPD news blog, it notes further details of the investigation:
“Initially, it was unclear whether the driver was wounded. However, several hours after the incident, the driver turned himself into the City of Bowie Police Department. He had not been struck, although his vehicle was struck by a bullet during the incident. Prince George’s County Police detectives interviewed the driver who was later released. He has not been charged with any crimes at this point in the investigation.”
The investigation that is currently underway will look into the reason for the officer’s weapon from being discharged, if his actions were justified and within the borders of policy, and if further charges will occur.
According to Bowie Deputy Police Chief Dwayne Preston, incidents involving officer-related shootings are not frequent in Bowie, noting the last incident was “approximately two to three years ago.”
“The history of the Bowie Police Department in relationship with the community is one that is outstanding,” Preston said. “We have a high approval rating from the community in which we serve, and this is something that is not an incident that is typical that occurs within the city of Bowie. But it is, unfortunately, a part of law enforcement where encounters of this nature do occur.”
Preston continues, providing context as to why additional force can be needed for routine traffic stops.
“Traffic stops are one of the most dangerous incidents that police officers engage in because often times, we’re stopping people for sometimes what’s considered a minor violation, but not knowing who the occupants of the vehicle are and what other incidents or crimes that may have occurred which they’re aware of, it can quickly escalate into something more serious than what the actual stop was for.”
“Every situation is an isolated or independent situation, and it depends on the type of encounter or type of incident that you’re referring to. So there’s no one sure way to say that what an officer should do in all circumstances and situations…whenever any use of force is used, whether it is with deadly force or any type of force an officer would need to use, we want to make sure that we (have) effective communication and advise people and give them proper warnings to heed the commands before it escalates to a use of force situation, and that’s if time is warranted.
There’s sometimes when a situation is so immediate that officers don’t have the opportunity to provide a warning. And in those cases, they’ll refer back to the training that they’ve been given, and the goal is to obviously protect themselves and defend themselves if necessary.”
This incident happened a day after National Night Out, a community-building event that centers on bringing residents and their local law enforcement agencies closer together through food, music, and positive interaction between the two sides.