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Officer shoots and kills handcuffed suspect who was wearing a seatbelt inside a squad car

By Dawn Onley, The Grio

A Prince George’s County police officer shot and killed a man who was handcuffed and strapped in a seatbelt in the front seat of a squad car this past Monday night.

The officer was not wearing a body camera.

The incident happened in Temple Hills, Maryland where police responded to a 911 call around 8 p.m. about an erratic driver who struck multiple vehicles in the Silver Hill area and on St. Barnabas Road, according to NBC Washington.

Christina Cotterman, spokesperson for the Prince George’s County Police Department, said officers found the suspect on Winston Street and that they believe they smelled PCP coming from his vehicle.

Cotterman said officers handcuffed the driver with his hands behind his back and put him in the front passenger seat of a cruiser, which she said is standard procedure for suspects to be transported in the front seat and taken to Prince George’s County Department of Corrections for processing. In addition, officers had strapped a seat belt across the suspect, according to NBC Washington. When one officer got into the driver’s seat awaiting a drug recognition expert to arrive on the scene, Cotterman said two independent witnesses told police they saw or heard some type of struggle ensue before they heard loud bangs coming from inside the squad car.

The officer shot the suspect several times with his duty weapon, according to Cotterman. The deceased man has not been named pending notification of his family. The officer was also unnamed and was put on administrative duty following the killing. Police are expected to release the officer’s name later today.

According to Cotterman, officers attempted to save the suspect’s life, but he died shortly afterward at an area hospital.

The police department is continuing to investigate the incident, including looking to see if any nearby surveillance cameras captured the incident, Cotterman said.

This article originally appeared in The Grio.

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