Officer Arrested For Murder After Fatally Shooting Handcuffed Suspect

Holly Matkin

Prince George's County Police Corporal Michael Owen fatally shot William Green during an altercation on Monday night.

Temple Hills, MD – A Prince George’s County police corporal has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a suspect he was transporting in the front seat of his patrol vehicle.

Local sources advise that transporting suspects in their front seat is normal procedure.

The suspect, 43-year-old William Green, was handcuffed behind his back at the time of the shooting, WJLA reported.

The incident began at approximately 8 p.m. on Monday, after police received a report of a vehicle crashing into a series of parked cars on Winston Street.

They arrived to find Green unconscious behind the wheel of his vehicle, and initially suspected he was under the influence of PCP, WJLA reported.

Police said that Green slammed into a total of six other vehicles before he passed out.

He was placed in handcuffs and seated in the front passenger seat of a patrol vehicle that was not equipped with a partition between the front and rear portions of the cruiser, WJLA reported.

Under department policy, officers are prohibited from transporting suspects in the back of their patrol cars unless the cruiser is equipped with a transport partition, according to WUSA.

"[A] police officer is in a better position to control someone or prevent injury to a person if they have access to them in the front seat of that car," Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said.

While they waited for another officer to arrive at the scene to evaluate Green for drug use, Prince George’s County Police Corporal Michael Owen got into the driver’s seat next to the suspect, according to The New York Times.

At one point, Cpl. Owen radioed that Green needed to use the bathroom, WJLA reported.

Police initially said that two independent witnesses said that they saw Cpl. Owen and Green engaged in a struggle in the front seat of the patrol vehicle just before the corporal opened fire, according to WUSA.

But Chief Stawinski later walked back that claim, as well as several others.

"We do not believe PCP was involved, we do not have independent witnesses that observed a struggle and we do not know for certain that Mr. Green was seat-belted in that cruiser,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Cpl. Owen shot Green seven times during the incident, WUSA reported.

Officers immediately attempted lifesaving measures until Green was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Cpl. Owen, a 10-year veteran-of-the-force, was placed on administrative leave on Monday evening in the wake of the fatal shooting.

On Tuesday afternoon, he was arrested on charges of second-degree murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, use of a firearm to commit a violent crime, and first-degree assault, according to The New York Times.

“I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime,” Chief Stawinski told reporters. “There are no circumstances under which this outcome is acceptable.”

Cpl. Owen was not wearing a bodycam at the time of the fatal encounter because the department is still in the process of acquiring enough cameras to equip every officer, WUSA reported.

On Tuesday morning, Green’s family gathered near the site of the shooting to demand answers about his death.

“We want to know why our loved one was brutally shot in a police car, handcuffed, seat belted, and in the front seat,” Green’s fiancé, Sandra Mathis, told WJLA. “We have questions that’s not being answered. We want to get to the bottom of this.”

“They shot my son and it’s not right,” Brenda Green added. “How you gonna shoot somebody sitting in a front seat of a car in handcuffs and with a seat belt on? Why would you do that?”

Green’s cousin, Juanita Sharma, said that Green was not a violent man.

“Since the day he was born he was the most gentle, sweetest, kindest,” Sharma told The New York Times. “He loved his mother and he loved his family.

Green’s family is now being represented by attorney Billy Murphy, who also represented Freddie Gray’s family, WUSA reported.

The altercation with Green was third shooting incident involving Cpl. Owen, WJLA reported.

His prior shooting involved armed suspects and were ruled to be justified.

In 2011, he fatally shot a man who threatened him with a gun, according to WUSA.

He also shot a man who attempted to rob him outside his home while he was off duty in 2009.

Comments (34)
No. 1-16
IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Yeah, much of this doesn't pass the sniff test.... it looked and smelled really bad when it was first reported.....

why do not all patrol cars have transport partitions? While I understand budgets are limited, this should be standard equipment when purchasing a patrol car. And would have avoided this entire situation.

I'd be interesting to learn what the tox screen showed on the deceased, as well as hear from the officer as to what he says happened.

Me thinks the county will be sued civilly, and should look to settle as quickly as possible. And I hope Cpl Owen retains a good attorney; it looks like he is going to need it. On it's face, this whole situation is completely unacceptable.

flybynight
flybynight

#rolltape

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

#poposillies

JBoH
JBoH

We had partitions in the early 70s. Can't imagine that 50 years later an agency still isn't using them. The article raises more questions than answers and something definitely isn't right.

ScaleriBrosLawyer
ScaleriBrosLawyer

Man I didn't even realize patrol cars still came equipped without partitions. I mean I guess for investigators and supervisors it would make sense, but a unit that's going to be used for prisoner transport? Come on.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

Too little info to make a "keyboard" comment as to guilt or innocence of the officer involved. That said, the perp "victim" always seems to have been an upright citizen just prior to the "lottery drawing"!

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Corruption, through and through. Making up witnesses and stories, then telling them to the public while you try to clean up the mess. Anyone involved should have their entire case history reviewed.

All Cops Are Beautiful.

SheepDawg
SheepDawg

Low, as much as I don't want to, I'm going to question your statement. While reading the entire article above I note that the Police stated that there were no eyewitnesses. I somehow missed the part that is the basis of your typical anti-police gibberish.

Let's take the Kobe crash, right in your area. Initial reports by some people stated that the entire family had been aboard. They were not. That's why investigations are conducted and take time. I guess what you are saying is that when information is fresh and not yet verified it should not be publicized? Wouldn't that be awesome? That sure would cut down on protests, looting and vandalism however.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Shot him 7 times, while the guy had his hands handcuffed behind his back... reminds me of this scene...

Motor141
Motor141

I determined there was a crime committed...I’ll wait until the blood work comes back and it identifies the culprit...PCP....😳! Why were no cameras rolling...😳!

Brasov04cluj
Brasov04cluj

Far too many Details missing in this story.
Appears the Chief is using his Officer as a Scape goat to appease the pack of Rabid Dogs , a.k.a. family. Stupid B###h crying he was wearing a seat belt when he was shot. GARBAGE you dumb broad !! Was she in the car ??
A couple years ago TWO Sherrif's Deputies were SHOT DEAD in a court room by a HAND CUFFED S#it bag Standing Behind them.
And a Prison Guard Transporting a HANDCUFFED S#it Bag was SHOT DEAD with his own gun.
SO ... The DEAD PUKE in this story earned his vacation.
Although this Deputy is in deep do do if his body shows NO bruises consistant with being punched , scratched ....anything of that sort.
And the coronor better not find marks on the dead dog consistant with a beating or defensive actions.
HANDCUFFS DO NOT Render a Cuffed SCUM BAG Harmless.
There are DOZENS more DEAD L.E.O.'s aside from the 3 i listed who were Murdered by Feces piles wearing Handcuffs.
Two prior shootings ....the Chief is worried about the city's insurance premiums cutting into his retirement fund.

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

I just don’t think the whole story is in just yet and we’ve not heard the last of this. I agree that too many things don’t pass the sniff test here, but I’m not buying a cover up either

colonelorville
colonelorville

If you have ever dealt with someone on PCP you would realize that the Officer may very well have been justified. In the instances where I dealt with them, I was always lucky enough officers and sometimes citizens to help, so no one got shot.

RunCop
RunCop

Oh no more black on black crime

Goldbear5
Goldbear5

An Officer with over 10 years on.....
Hard to swallow that he would just shoot a perp seated next to him, cuffed with hands behind his back. Doesn’t add up.

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

I'd heard he got his hands infront of him and was trying to get the officers gun! Wished we'd have the whole story!


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