Police asked Facebook to suspend accounts during standoff

AP News
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Posted: Aug 02, 2016 5:39 PM
Police asked Facebook to suspend accounts during standoff

TOWSON, Md. (AP) — During a standoff, police asked Facebook to suspend an armed woman's social media accounts because people commenting on videos she was posting were encouraging her not to comply with officers, authorities said Tuesday.

Korryn Gaines, 23, was shot to death Monday at her Randallstown apartment after a five-hour standoff with officers who were trying to serve an arrest warrant, police said. Her five-year-old son was with her throughout the negotiations, and the boy was wounded in the arm during an exchange of gunfire between police and Gaines, authorities said.

Videos posted on Facebook and Instagram accounts appeared to show Gaines, who was black, talking with an officer who is standing in the doorway of her apartment and to her son during the standoff. In one video, she asks her son what the police are trying to do.

"They trying to kill us," the boy says.

"Do you want to go out there?"

"No," he says.

Gaines also posted videos from a March 10 traffic stop. Police said she was pulled over because instead of a license plate, she had a cardboard tag that said: "Any Government official who compromises this pursuit of happiness and right to travel will be held criminally responsible and fined, as this is a natural right and freedom."

During the stop, she said officers were trying to "steal her car," that she wasn't complying with officers' "criminal" ways, and that they would have to "murder" her to get her out of her car, according to court documents.

Officers said she had to be pulled from the car and repeatedly yelled to a crowd of people who had gathered to "record this" while police were arresting her.

She was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. When she didn't appear in court, officers went to her apartment Monday to serve arrest warrants on her and her boyfriend, Kareem K. Courtney, 39, according to police. He left the apartment with a 1-year-old child and was arrested.

Gaines holed up in her apartment, within view of the officers. Authorities said she was armed with a 12-gauge pistol grip shotgun that was legally purchased last year. At several points during negotiations she pointed it directly at an officer. Finally, she said, "If you don't leave, I'm going to kill you."

An officer shot at her and Gaines fired two shots, but missed the officers, who returned three rounds and killed her, police said.

The boy is in good condition at a hospital. Police are not sure whether he was hit by gunfire or shrapnel.

Gaines' boyfriend is charged with second-degree assault, which stems from a June fight with Gaines, police said. He has been released on his own recognizance.

It's not clear what Gaines' relationship with the baby is, or whether the infant was the one with her during the March traffic stop.

The department did not release the names or races of the officers involved, who were placed on administrative leave. Their first initials and last names will be released 48 hours after the shooting, in accordance with the department's contract with the Fraternal Order of Police.

Gaines' uncle Jerome Barnett told The Baltimore Sun that Gaines "was feisty, but she was smart and she was respectful."

The department is bringing body cameras online but none of the officers had one.