Citing threats against police, Baltimore County police chief Jim Johnson is not releasing the name of the officer who shot and killed Korryn Gaines during a standoff in Randallstown on Monday.
On Thursday, Johnson said the police department “has received an unprecedented number of threats against police, including threats and actions against specific officers and officials” following Gaines’ shooting. She was killed at the end of an hourslong standoff in her apartment after police say she pointed a long gun at officers. Her five-year-old son was wounded in the gunfire.
Johnson also said the “current national climate” including attacks on police in Baton Rouge and Dallas makes “lone wolf attacks” in response to the shooting “a real possibility.”
Johnson also cited Gaines’ political ideology, which he described as anti-government. This stems from her initial March reaction with police at a traffic stop, in which she was pulled over for driving with a piece of cardboard instead of a license plate. Johnson said Gaines doesn’t align with a group, but behaved as someone who did not recognize government authority.
Releasing the names of officers is one of the myriad issues with the handling of police-involved shootings that has come to light amid high-profile police killings over the last year. A Washington Post investigation found that one in five officers’ names were released. That report was published before the attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge that have left police even more on edge.
A vigil for Gaines is scheduled for Friday night at City College.
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