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Posted at 8:33 AM ET, 02/23/2011

Man shot by Montgomery police

By Allison Klein
Allison Klein

An off-duty Montgomery County police officer shot a man in the leg during a traffic stop as he reached for his waistband, police said.

Officers later realized he had stashed bags of marijuana there. He did not have a weapon, police said.

It happened at about 1:30 a.m. in the 6500 block of Muncaster Mill Road in Rockville when a Park Police officer stopped a burgundy 2002 Toyota Corolla for a traffic

The car was carrying four men, and when the officer approached, he smelled marijuana, police said. As he called for back-up, a man from the back seat jumped out of the car and ran, officials said.

Montgomery police arrived and a police dog began searching for the man who fled. The Park Police officer was handcuffing the driver while the off-duty officer monitored the men in the car, according to police.

That was when one of the men in the back of the car got out and, according to police, reached for his waistband. The officer ordered the man to comply with "commands that he refused to obey," and then fired her weapon several times, hitting him in the leg, officials said.

Police later figured out he had multiple individually wrapped packages of
marijuana in his waistband.

The man was taken to a local hospital and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The suspect who ran from the car was found nearby. He and the two remaining suspects were being questioned by police Wednesday morning.

The off-duty officer, who has been with the department for four years, has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

Police have not yet announced the name of the officer who fired, or any charges against the people in the car.

By Allison Klein  | February 23, 2011; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  Allison Klein, Montgomery  
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That was when one of the men in the back of the car got out and, according to police, reached for his waistband. The officer ordered the man to comply with "commands that he refused to obey," and then fired her weapon several times, hitting him in the leg, officials said.
My goodness!

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | February 23, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Justifyably shoot. Of course, the usual leftist suspects that have never been in law enforcement won't see it that way.

Posted by: PZ007 | February 23, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Good! He probably do-dooed on himself also. I hope it scared him straight but I doubt it. You're pretty dumb to reach into your waistband while an officer has a gun drawn on you.

Posted by: keedrow | February 23, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Two things: 1) At least the cop didn't use deadly force, and 2) this silliness is another reason to legalize drugs. For a law enforcement person to go on "alert" because of smelling maryjane is simply stupid.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 23, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Perps were complete morons. That said - legalize this stuff now! The fact it is not is simply mindboggling. I THOUGHT this was a free country. BS.

Posted by: Trout1 | February 23, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

This a public service announcement from the police force of Montgomery County......CRIMINALS WILL BE SHOT! Thank you, you may now return to your daily, law abiding activities.

Posted by: mossmillennium | February 23, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Thank You MCPD and MNCPPC PD for everything you do to keep us safe. We can all sleep safely in our beds at night knowing that you are out there protecting us and enforcing the law.

To the liberal left out there that don't see this as a justified shooting please just continue living your lives in blissful ignorance to the realities of police work.

Posted by: bj9312 | February 23, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Come one! Lets hear it second guessers and monday morning quarterbacks! Lets hear all about your unrealsitic expectations of police officers. I want to hear about how you, with all your Hollywood television training and experience, would've handled it better. And don't shy away from the usual comments of "officers need better training" and "why didnt they taser him?". And by all means please use this section as a forum to whine about speed camera tickets, disability, take home cars and all your other cry baby complaints about the police. Seriously, you're thoughts and opinions are soooooo important that we would all be so lucky to hear them. (Sigh) That felt good.

Posted by: blank08 | February 23, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

jckdoors - Yet another pro-doper posting? You go on "alert" when someone reached into their pants during an arrest/stop. Back you your parents basement and play computer games, smoke your dope and eat twinkies and slurp Mountain dew.

Posted by: PZ007 | February 23, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Such a shame someone got shot because of a traffic stop. There are those here that think the shooting was justifiable. Could have been, however, there still needs to be open dialog when someone gets shot by police officers while unarmed. Police officers have a very tough job, but they should understand the circumstances before they sign up. For all of you "shoot em first ask questions later" folks, let's hope nothing like this happens to you or any of your loved ones. It could happen very easily to anyone, with the state of mind it seems our local law enforcers drive around with.

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | February 23, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The officer said he reached for his waist band, but wait ! didn't an officer say a guy was behind the wheel of a car and drunk when he was sleeping in the back seat in a Target parking lot and it took the film to prove he was telling the truth ? and didnt an officer say he didnt hit the kid in the head and only came clean after his boss took his baton for blood testing . The only thing we know for sure is you cant take a cops word for anything , we need proof

Posted by: lynncoinc | February 23, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

to Hlynchmaster: you say it could very easily happen to anyone. I think that one way to not get shot by the police would be to not fish around in your waistband for a bag of weed when you've been stopped by the police. In fact, should every reach into their waistband for any reason when they are interacting with the police. Also, That person didn't "get shot because of a traffic stop", they got shot because they made a furitive movement to an area where bad guys frequently hide weapons.

Police officers do understand the circumstances before they sign up. They know there are people out there willing to kill police officers as evidenced by the fact that an officer dies in the line of duty once every two days in our country, and they also know they can take necessary steps to defend themselves BEFORE a person potentially produces a dangerous or deadly weapon. That is the mindset that our local law enforcers drive around with.

As far as open dialog don't rely on the newspaper to provide all the facts. There are much more facts documented than the Post will ever print.

Posted by: bj9312 | February 23, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Being a new resident of Montgomery County, I guess that I'm not as savvy as others about how 'trigger-happy' our local law enforcement professionals are, but if the circumstances of the shooting that this reporter described are accurate, then I don't see why there is a question about the officer's use of force. That she warned the suspect and was able to disable him without the use of deadly force reflects a level of competency that other law enforcement officers occasionally lack. While the police officer should be placed on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation by the department, the result of the investigation will likely prove that the officer acted responsibly in light of a possible (and perceived) hostile act being taken against her. I echo those who say thank you to those who serve to protect us. The debate over marijuana legalization has nothing to do with the criticism of the police officer for defending herself from potential harm, nor does it justify the behavior of those who sought to evade the police after being stopped. Thank you again Montgomery County!

Posted by: MoCoAdvocate | February 23, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"This a public service announcement from the police force of Montgomery County......CRIMINALS WILL BE SHOT! Thank you, you may now return to your daily, law abiding activities."
Posted by: mossmillennium

"This a public service announcement ... WITH GUITAR!
Know your rights!
(All three of them:)

Number one:
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a crime!
Unless it was done by a
Policeman or aristocrat
Know your rights"

The Clash / "Know Your Rights" / Sandinista! / 1982

Suburban punks beware: The MoCo po-po want yo' mojo. Kids, keep your mitts away from your waistband and your em-jay secreted very well.

Also, don't blast loud eclectic music from your parked vehicle in/near Rock Creek Park unless you want the M-NCPPC Police to check out your pupillary response time (speaking from personal experience).

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | February 23, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Shoot a citizen legally and win a week off with pay.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 23, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I long for the good old days when every self-respecting cop carried a "throw-down," which is a gun which cannot be traced back to the cop to be thrown down at the scene of a questionable shooting. No cop wanted to be accused of shooting an unarmed suspect. If a trigger happy cop pumps an innocent full of lead these days, all he has to say is the poor dead schmuck made a move and it's all good.

Cops number one objective each day is to return home to his or her family at the end of the shift. This is of paramount importance to them. They all want to be regarded as heroes and be worshiped for the sacrifices that they make to preserve our way of life. I could never be a cop because I could never live with myself if I had gunned down someone who then proved to have been no threat.

I am aware of the risks involved in being a police office but it is far from the most dangerous career one could have. Both cab drivers and convenience store clerks die violently on the job at higher rates than cops and nobody regards them as heroes, even though they, arguably, are doing there part to protect and preserve our way of life. They are not armed and enjoy none of the legal protections that cops do. So please consider this before you go blindly setting up all law enforcement personnel on pedestals.

And please, officer, take a chance and don't run the risk of killing an innocent. Wait until you see a gun before you start blazing away.

PS: For those of you who don't understand, use of a gun on someone is deadly force. Just because the MOCO pig did not kill the poor pothead does not in any way reflect credit on the officer or the department. All officers are trained to aim for the center of the body mass whenever they shoot at someone. This officer either broke training or was a bad shot.

Posted by: 10Percenter | February 23, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Another great job by the Montgomery County Police!!! The only way this could have turned out better would have been if the officer had aimed for the head.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 23, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

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