Baltimore County police officer James D. Laboard, 33 (pictured right), was found not guilty of choking unarmed teen, Christopher Brown, 17, to death on June 12 while allegedly trying to arrest him, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Brown was with a group of boys who allegedly threw a rock at the door to Laboard’s home. The officer gave chase, and without cuffs or a gun, felt that putting the teen in a chokehold was the only way to restrain him.
It killed him instead.
“There is no evidence that Laboard intended to kill,” attorney Ezra S. Gollogly, said in court. “What the state is doing in this case is 20/20 hindsight.”
Brown’s mother and sister wept in the courtroom, while Laboard was “visibly relieved.”
Read more from the Baltimore Sun:
State’s Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger said the state agreed with Brown’s family that Laboard had used excessive force, but the jury had the ultimate decision.
“This was an incredibly tragic case,” Shellenberger said. “Obviously we in the state’s attorney’s office felt a crime had been committed.”