Hagerstown cops have released the name of a man who died early Friday after a Hagerstown cop shot him with a Taser gun Thursday night in the 400 block of North Prospect Street.
Darrell Lawrence Brown, 31, of Upper Marlboro, Md., was pronounced dead at 12:11 a.m. Friday at Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Police said Friday morning during a news conference that officers were unable to identify Brown immediately after the incident because he was not carrying identification.
Hagerstown Police Chief Mark Holtzman said officers had to notify Brown’s family before releasing his name.
“It’s being classified by our department as an in-custody death,” Holtzman said.
Holtzman was joined at the news conference by Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore, whose department has been asked by Hagerstown police to investigate Brown’s death.
“I just want to point out that our goal in this whole thing is to do an independent investigation that is accurate and thorough and complete,” Mullendore said.
He said the results of the investigation would be turned over to the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Investigators were in Baltimore Friday to attend the autopsy at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the sheriff said.
“It will be at least several weeks, if not a month, before we receive the actual results of the autopsy and the toxicology regarding this individual,” Mullendore said. “So again, that information will not be released until we receive it.”
Holtzman said police were reviewing recorded footage from “street-crime cameras” in the area and intended to share that information with investigators.
He said he was uncertain whether Brown died in the ambulance or in the emergency room at Meritus Medical Center.
Washington County Emergency Services dispatchers received calls from two people shortly after 10:30 p.m., police said. One of the callers said a black man wearing jeans and a shirt entered her house, then left and was seen staggering outside.
The initial investigation showed the man, later identified as Brown, entered a home at 402 N. Prospect St., according to Holtzman.
Police shot Brown with a Taser in front of the home when he acted aggressively and failed to obey the commands of officers.
“That’s where the arrest was made,” he said.
Officers placed Brown in handcuffs and put him in an ambulance, Holtzman said. Two officers accompanied him to the hospital in the back of the vehicle, he said.
Holtzman said he wasn’t sure how many times Brown was shocked with the Taser, which is designed to subdue suspects by shooting dart-like electrodes into the skin.
“Individual Tasers have a computer inside them that registers how many times they’re deployed (and) the length of time they’re deployed,” Holtzman said.
He said that information has been turned over to the sheriff’s office as part of the investigation.
Hagerstown police officers receive annual training in Taser use, Holtzman said.
Officers are trained using the guidelines of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, an organization that sets professional standards for police agencies to follow, he said.
“We do follow standard policies for training with Tasers,” Holtzman said.
He said all five officers involved in the incident are white males and have about 32 years of combined law-enforcement experience.
The five have been placed on administrative duty.
“They’ll be assigned here to the (police station),” Holtzman said. “They will not be working the street until we’re satisfied with the internal investigation.”
The officers will be permitted to carry weapons during that time, the chief said.
Brown had convictions for drug possession, disorderly conduct, escape, and property destruction in Prince George’s and Washington counties, according to The Associated Press.
He was scheduled for a hearing May 26 in Hagerstown for allegedly violating terms of a 2013 plea deal on a second-degree assault charge.
Brown’s relatives in Temple Hills, Md., declined to comment when reached by telephone Friday by the AP.