Md. County May Be Changing Body Cam Policy After Man Fatally Shot By Off-Duty Officer

BALTIMORE — Across the country, it is rare that officers are mandated to wear body cameras while working secondary jobs in uniform.

But, in one of Maryland’s largest forces, that could soon change after an off-duty Baltimore County Officer killed a suspect in Catonsville.

For the first time, we hear from the brother of a man killed by an off-duty police officer earlier this month.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz believes that officers should wear body cameras in secondary jobs. The policy issues still need to be worked out, but this is a position that is increasingly rare around the country.

The family of Christopher Clapp wants answers about why he died. He was shot by an off-duty Baltimore County Police Officer at a Giant Supermarket in Catonsville.

“I have so many questions about what could have been going on because I know my brother as this big gentle giant,” says Christopher Clapp’s brother, Justin Clapp.

Police say the officer, who was in full uniform working security at the grocery store confronted Clapp at his car about stealing detergent — but that’s when things reportedly went wrong.

Police say Clapp took off and dragged the officer, who shot him with his service weapon.

“I just don’t believe that shoplifting means that you should be killed,” says Justin Clapp.

But the officer wasn’t wearing a body camera, which is prompting debate. Baltimore County Police Officers are not required to wear cameras, even when they’re moonlighting as security.

This is a different policy from Baltimore City. But Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz may change the procedure.

“Technically, a police officer is on duty 24 hours a day. If a crime is committed in that police officer’s presence and they’re off work, they suddenly become on-work and engage in the duties of a police officer,” he says.

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Filming Cops
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Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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