Statement by Acting Chief Marcus Jones Regarding White Oak Incident; Additional Body-Worn Camera Footage Released

The following is a release of the statement to be provided by Acting Chief Marcus Jones at today’s press conference regarding the White Oak incident.

 

“There has been a great deal of interest by the public and from our elected officials about an incident that took place on May 9, 2019 at the McDonald’s restaurant at 11146 New Hampshire Avenue in White Oak.

In the interest of transparency, today we are releasing 205 minutes of video taken with body-worn cameras by our officers at the scene.

This is a release of all the body-worn camera footage available.  One of our officers, Sergeant McDannell, did not turn on his camera immediately as is required but did turn it on as the incident progressed.

I also want to emphasize that you will hear on this tape language from our officers that is decidedly unprofessional.  It violates our Department policy, it is not acceptable to me and it is not acceptable to our community.

Before getting into the details of the incident, I want to make it clear that I cannot discuss, or take questions, on any details of our internal investigation as it still in progress.

I would like to set out a broader context for the events of May 9 than has been available previously.

Our officers are very familiar with the White Oak area and with the McDonald’s restaurant specifically.  The beat involved here is one of our busiest in terms of calls for service.

Within that beat, this McDonald’s restaurant is one of the establishments that most frequently generates calls for service.  In 2018, there were 192 calls for service, with 57 of those dealing with trespassing.  Through June 15 of this year, there have been 53 calls for service, with 21 of those for trespassing.

The manager of the restaurant not only encourages his employees to call the police when there are issues, he also requested that we take action when officers view a situation that might be disruptive to the business or which we believe might be of a criminal nature.

We work with the McDonald’s to make certain there is a safe environment for customers and employees.  In this instance, our officer approached the four individuals involved outside of the restaurant and asked them to move along.

The reporting and social media postings at the time reflected the view that we unfairly and perhaps illegally accosted and searched young men who had been customers of the restaurant and were waiting to be picked up to be taken to work.

The evidence from our investigation presents a different view.

This is not what some people call a random “stop and frisk” action.  It began with the officer approaching the four men in the video and asking them to move along.

At that point, and what was not apparent on the social media video of the incident, was that our officers detected the odor of marijuana on at least two of the individuals.

This was probable cause for arrest, and the reason why the individuals and a backpack were searched.

We have also determined through security camera video that none of the men were customers of the restaurant.  None had ordered, consumed or picked up food or drinks inside the restaurant.

This was not an incident of racial profiling.  Our officers are trained in Constitutional policing while in the Training Academy and after they graduate.  We exceed the State standards in this area.  We do not tolerate racial profiling and it was not in evidence here.

At the end of the day, all of the men were issued trespass notices and two were issued Maryland Civil Citations for marijuana possession.  You will see on the video that at least one of the men was familiar with this process.

For the record, the store manager has asked that the trespass notices given to the four men not be rescinded, as some others have requested.

Thank you for your attention.  The video will be posted online for your viewing shortly after we conclude here.

And again, I want to apologize for the language of our officers that you will hear in the video.  I am disappointed with it, and I want to be clear it does not meet our standards.”

The body-worn camera footage related to this incident can be accessed and viewed at the following links:

Sergeant M. McDannell

Officer T. Fox

Officer M. Washington (part 1):

Officer M. Washington (part 2)

Officer K. Harrington

Officer J. Mirra (part 1)

Officer J. Mirra (part 2)

Officer J. Dodson 

Officer F. Ronald (part 1)

Officer F. Ronald (part 2)

Officer D. Olsen

Lieutenant E. Bunting

 

The policies of the Montgomery County Department of Police can be found at the following link:

https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/pol/resource/policies.html

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CTJ

Media Advisory: Press Conference on White Oak Incident – Friday, July 12 at 11:00 am

WHAT:

Press Conference to address the White Oak incident from May 9, 2019.  Additional body-camera footage to be released.

 

WHEN:

Friday, July 12, 2019 at 11:00 am

Press members should arrive with credentials no later than 10:45 am in order to proceed through security screening.

 

WHERE:

J. Thomas Manger Public Safety Headquarters (Lower Level)

100 Edison Park Drive

Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878

 

SPEAKERS:

Montgomery County Acting Chief of Police Marcus Jones

 

Questions?  Contact the Public Information Division at 240-773-5030 #4

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CTJ

Media Advisory: 12th Annual Police Adventure Camp Graduation

WHAT:

The media is invited to attend the special graduation ceremony for the approximately 25 campers (3rd through 5th graders) who have participated in this week’s 12th Annual Police Adventure Camp.  Charlie Brown, former Washington Redskins wide receiver, who has been working with the campers all week, is anticipated to be present at the graduation.

The camp is a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Police, Montgomery County Public Schools, and the Linkages to Learning program.  The young campers have had opportunities to learn more about the work of police officers, as well as participating in character-building activities, sports, crafts, and field trips.

WHEN:

Tomorrow (Friday, June 28th) at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:

David Scull Community Center located at 1201 First Street, Rockville, MD.

rlg/CTJ

Media Advisory: Acting Chief Hamill Announces Arrests for series of thefts targeting Automated Teller Machines at 7-Elevens in Montgomery County

WHAT:

Press Conference to announce the arrests of three suspects who committed yesterday morning’s robbery at a White Oak 7-Eleven.

 

WHEN:

Today, Wednesday, May 8 at 1:30 p.m.

No further details of these arrests can be confirmed prior to the press conference.

 

WHERE:

Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters (outside the main entrance)

100 Edison Park Drive

Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878

 

SPEAKERS:

Montgomery County Acting Chief of Police Russell Hamill

RLG

Department Honors Fallen Heroes: Twenty-Four-Hour Vigil Began Today; Memorial Service Tomorrow at Public Safety Memorial

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. During Police Week, law enforcement officers and survivors from around the world come to Washington, DC, to participate in events that honor fallen officers.

Over the years, additional events of remembrance have been established in the month of May to honor public safety personnel that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Throughout this month, the Montgomery County Police Department will remember and honor our fallen officers in various ways, beginning with a vigil and memorial service at the Public Safety Headquarters.

Beginning at 10:00 this morning (Tuesday, May 7), Montgomery County public safety employees both current and past, are participating in a twenty-four-hour vigil at the Montgomery County Public Safety Memorial on the grounds of the Public Safety Headquarters in Gaithersburg (100 Edison Park Drive).  During the twenty-four-hour time period, personnel will take turns standing watch at the Memorial as a way to honor the fallen.  This vigil will lead up to the Montgomery County Fallen Heroes Memorial Service held on Wednesday, May 8.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 8, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the Maryland-National Capital Park Police – Montgomery County Division will honor our fallen heroes at the annual Fallen Heroes Memorial Service.  Members of the public are welcome to attend.

What: Fallen Heroes Memorial Service

When: Wednesday, May 8, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Public Safety Memorial, located on the grounds of the Public Safety Headquarters, 100 Edison Park Drive, Gaithersburg, 20878*

*Please note that in the case of inclement weather, the service will be held inside the Public Safety Headquarters.

In Memory of:

Montgomery County Police Department

Police Officer III Noah A.  Leotta – December 10, 2015

Police Officer III William D. Talbert – January 27, 2012

Sergeant Hector I. Ayala – April 4, 2010

Police Officer III Luke T. Hoffman – April 25, 2007

Captain Joseph A. Mattingly, Jr. – September 13, 2003

Police Officer III James E. Walch – January 25, 1994

Police Officer III Mark M. Filer – August 24, 1993

Police Officer III Philip C. Metz – March 27, 1981

Corporal John M. Frontczak – March 29, 1976

Captain James E. Daly, Jr. – March 28, 1976

Private William P. Conboy, Jr. – December 29, 1973

Lieutenant Donald A. Robertson – March 9, 1972

Lieutenant William H. Jessie – December 30, 1964

Private Robert W. McAllister – November 23, 1952

Private David G. Bisset – October 1, 1952

Patrolman James E. Shoemaker – February 4, 1938

Patrolman Webb S. Hersperger – June 18, 1933

Patrolman Joseph A. Case – December 17, 1928

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Captain James T. Hall – October 26, 1971

Maryland-National Capital Park Police – Montgomery County Division

Officer Kristin M. Pataki – May 4, 2002