WASHINGTON (AP) — A Washington, D.C., police sergeant has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the fatal August 2021 shooting of a man who had been found asleep in his car.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves unsealed a federal indictment Tuesday charging Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Enis Jevric, 41, with murder and also a federal civil rights violation in the death of An’Twan Gilmore, 27.
“When an officer willfully disregards the safety of a citizen he is sworn to protect, he violates the trust placed in him by virtue of his badge,” Graves said in a statement.
The shooting took place after police received reports of a man asleep or unconscious behind the wheel of black BMW at a stoplight in northeast Washington around 3 a.m. on Aug. 25, 2021. According to the police department, an officer approached the car and spotted a handgun tucked into the man’s waistband. Reinforcements were called in and several officers approached the car behind a bulletproof ballistic shield.
Body-camera footage shows a crowd of officers approaching the car and tapping on the window. The car begins moving and stops quickly, as the officers yell, “Don’t move!” The car then starts moving again as the officers fire at least nine shots at it. Gilmore was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The shooting drew criticism of the officers’ willingness to use lethal force rather than de-escalating a non-violent situation. D.C. Councilmember Janeese Lewis George drew a parallel between the Gilmore shooting and an incident a week earlier when a man parked a pickup truck in front of the Library of Congress, claiming he had a bomb.
George wrote on Twitter, “Sitting here trying to figure out how law enforcement can successfully deescalate a white domestic terrorist in a truck threatening to blow up the Capitol with a bomb but not a Black man who fell asleep in his car?”
The indictment charges that Jervis violated Gilmore’s civil rights by “willfully depriving” him of “his right to be free from the use of excessive force.” The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
“Law enforcement officers take an oath to serve and protect our communities, and should be held to the highest standards,” said a statement from David Sundberg, assistant director in charge the FBI Washington field office, which conducted the investigation.