In a tragic turn of events this weekend, an infant died after she stopped breathing inside a Waverly restaurant while a protest over a police-involved shooting was happening outside.
On Saturday, at least a couple dozen people gathered in the Waverly neighborhood near the scene where two officers shot an elderly man who they said was threatening citizens on Black Friday. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said that morning that the man was holding a pair of knives and waving them at people nearby. According to Davis, the man had refused to drop his weapons and was undeterred when officers hit him with a taser (a piece of the account some have disputed), after which two officers shot him. (Police identified the two officers as Officers Gary Brown and Supreme Jones.)
The incident sparked outrage from some in the community, and they gathered on Saturday afternoon in Waverly to show it. However, their protest stopped short that day after a child inside the nearby Mamma Lucia Italian Eatery stopped breathing.
A police spokesperson said in a release that Major Richard Gibson was patrolling the area of Greenmount Avenue and 33rd Street when a group of people notified him about the baby who had stopped breathing. The child’s mother had been protesting outside and had brought her daughter inside to feed her before she stopped breathing, according to a release from the department.
Gibson made a heroic attempt attempt to rescue the one-month-old child, running inside, performing CPR and trying to resuscitate her until medics arrived on the scene and took her to the hospital. Sadly, despite all of their efforts, police said she never woke up. According to the release from the department, it is unknown if the child had a medical condition that contributed to her death.
WJZ reports Major Gibson is the commander of the Northern District for the Baltimore Police Department and has served as an officer in the city for more than 20 years. Even amid the tragedy, activists, police and citizens have heralded him for his efforts to save the baby girl’s life.
He and other officers who attempted to revive the infant will receive counseling services, according to the department. As BPD chief spokesman tweeted:
Hey @MajorRichGibson, ❤️❤️❤️❤️. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— T.J. Smith (@TJSmithMedia) November 26, 2016
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