A high-speed police chase ended in rubble and ruin Feb. 8, after a suspect in a stolen vehicle hammered into another car, sending both careening into a derelict building in northeast Baltimore. The fatal incident was captured both on an officer's body camera and a CitiWatch surveillance system.
The Maryland attorney general's office's Independent Investigations Division released the footage Thursday.
The AG's office, presently looking into the incident, stated that a Baltimore Police Eastern District officer observed a vehicle reported stolen in the 1800 block of East North Avenue around 8:55 p.m., then attempted a traffic stop. The suspect refused to pull over and attempted to evade the officer, driving recklessly at high speeds.
Police followed the stolen Hyundai Sonata down North Wolfe Street. The suspect, whom the Baltimore Sun noted has been identified as 33-year-old Shawn Lee Brunson, barreled past a church and into an intersection, where he slammed into the driver's side of a Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Both the Sonata and the Eclipse subsequently spun out of control, careening right into a pedestrian, 54-year-old Alfred Fincher of Baltimore, father of three. After both vehicles crushed the victim, they smashed into a vacant row home. The brick façade and the lower walls cascaded down, burying both vehicles.
Image source: Screenshot of footage released by the Marlyand OAG Independent Investigations Division
Fincher was pronounced dead on the scene. There were five people inside the two cars involved in the incident, all of whom were injured.
After his release from hospital, Brunson, the driver of the stolen vehicle, was arrested on vehicle theft charges.
The New York Post reported that over 40 firefighters and emergency personnel and at least four fire trucks were involved in the efforts to clear the debris from the building. Authorities pulled the two sedans from the rubble at approximately 10:30 p.m. and subsequently towed them away.
Here is a graphic excerpt from the full video:
In bodycam footage of the aftermath of the crash, Officer Devin Yancy — a 4.5-year veteran on the force — can be seen drawing his weapon and ordering the suspect to show his hands and exit the car. While Yancy restored order, other officers can be seen rushing to dig out the victims trapped under the debris.
The attorney representing Fincher's surviving family alleged that in the bodycam footage, a voice over the police radio can be heard telling officers, "Just let it go," reported the Sun.
"The officer did not break off the pursuit, and Alfred Fincher is dead,” said attorney Divya Potdar.
According to Baltimore Police policy, officers reportedly are permitted to give chase if there is a felony suspect inside the vehicle who poses an "immediate threat" of death or injury, or if there is a strong possibility ahead of the pursuit that the suspect had committed a felony that could have resulted in death or significant harm.
Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Richard Worley has made the case that officers did not pursue the Sonata, but had rather endeavored to try to stop it.
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!