Washington, DC – Today, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Kevin Donahue released information related to the September 11, 2016 officer-involved shooting. The information released today includes the body-worn camera (BWC) footage and the name of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer who discharged his service weapon resulting in the death of Terrence Sterling, a 31-year old resident of Fort Washington, Maryland. The release of the information was authorized by Mayor Muriel Bowser, who deemed the BWC footage to be in the public interest and consistent with the goals of the District’s BWC program to create broader accountability between law enforcement and communities, and to maintain open and transparent government.
On Sunday, September 11, at approximately 4:20 am, MPD officers observed a motorcycle driving erratically in the vicinity of 15th and U Streets, NW. Just before 4:30 am, MPD’s ShotSpotter, a technology system that can detect the sound of gunfire in an area, identified the sound of possible gunfire near 3rd and M Streets, NW. The BWC footage released today begins shortly after the shots were fired and shows the officers providing medical assistance to Mr. Sterling.
Two Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) Department ambulances were dispatched at 4:30 am. One ambulance left its fire station located one block away and arrived on the scene shortly thereafter; a second ambulance arrived approximately five minutes after dispatch. FEMS personnel transported Mr. Sterling to Howard University Hospital, arriving at 4:45 a.m. Mr. Sterling was pronounced at the hospital.
One officer was equipped with a BWC. That officer, Brian Trainer, 27 years old and a four-year member of MPD, discharged his service weapon. The BWC was not activated until some moments after the shooting.
The BWC footage released today is from Officer Trainer’s BWC. Yesterday, Mayor Bowser consulted with Channing Phillips, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Karl Racine, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia on her decision to publicly release the BWC. This morning, Mayor Bowser and Deputy Mayor Donahue provided a briefing to the Council of the District of Columbia on the release.
The BWC footage can be viewed here.
Please note, once a camera is activated, the standard BWC technology automatically captures the immediately preceding 30 seconds of video, but not audio. All times cited above are approximate. The release of information from this incident is in the spirit of accountability and transparency; it is not intended to show a presumption of a violation of MPD policy or District law. Those determinations will be made at the conclusion of the concurrent investigations underway by MPD and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.