Mother’s $30 Million Maryland Wrongful Death Lawsuit Accuses Baltimore County Police of Excessive Force

Gwendolyn Cann is suing Baltimore County and six of its police officers for her son’s Maryland wrongful death. She is seeking over $30 million because she says that Baltimore police brutality resulted in the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Taevon G. Cann.

According to her Baltimore wrongful death complaint, Taevon was at the BP gas station at Merritt Boulevard and Dunman Way when two men in plain clothes “rushed” at him with handguns pointed. Taevon then placed his car in reverse to protect himself and that is when a Baltimore County police vehicle struck his car. The officers then surrounded him and shot him with over 70 bullets even though his arms were raised in surrender. One of the officers even shot Taevon in the back of the head. He was pronounced dead at the shooting site.

Police offered the Baltimore Sun a different account in 2008. They claimed that they had been following Taevon’s vehicle as part of a criminal probe and that when they ordered Cann out of the vehicle, he placed it in reverse and tried to hit a cop. His vehicle then hit a patrol car, causing an officer trying to get out of the vehicle to fall to the ground. The officers have said that this is when they started shooting the suspect.

Now, Gwendolyn is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the emotional pain, mental anguish, and suffering she has experienced from losing the “protection, attention, advice, counsel, and love of her son.” She also claims that the cops took $1, 784 from her son’s body and ”refused” to give her or her son’s estate the money back.

Baltimore County Police Brutality

At no time are police officers ever authorized excessive use of force even when detaining a subject. Excessive use of police force is a form of police brutality, an abuse of police power, and a violation of one’s civil rights. Many people don’t realize that police cannot verbally abuse, threaten, physical assault, emotional violate, sexually assault, or inflict injury on them just because they have been detained, arrested, charged, or convicted for a crime.

Woman sues Baltimore County police over son’s death, The Baltimore Sun, August 16, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Baltimore County Police Department, Maryland County Police Department
Police Use of Force, National Institute of Justice

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