BALTIMORE—A drug dealer who was arrested three times this year was fatally shot by a policeman when he pointed a handgun at the officer, authorities said Thursday.
Curtis Jamal Deal, 18, jumped out of a car Tuesday and officer David Kincaid ran after him, police said. Body camera footage released by police shows Kincaid, an officer of five years, shooting Deal in the middle of a West Baltimore street when Deal raised a silver handgun toward him. Deal, who was black, did not fire.
The officer’s race was not immediately released.
Deal was arrested on Jan. 4 for handgun possession, on Jan. 30 for heroin possession, and on Feb. 2 with another gun, more heroin and more than $6,000 in cash, authorities said. Deal was released Monday on $250,000 bond despite prosecutors’ request to keep him locked up until trial.
“Curtis Deal should be alive,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said, “behind bars, but alive.”
Deal was also a person of interest in a 2016 murder, authorities said.
Davis said Kincaid fired seven shots. Deal was struck four times.
Department spokesman T.J. Smith said Kincaid gave verbal commands to Deal prior to firing, but the bodycam did not record sound.
Police say Kincaid spotted a car “driving erratically” in an area designated as a high-crime zone, and decided to follow it, police said. Kincaid chose to chase Deal after he jumped out of the car because he recognized the man and saw a gun in his hand, police said. Prior to each of Deal’s previous arrests, he had run from officers.
“They knew him. Curtis Deal is a drug dealer. Curtis Deal carries guns. Curtis Deal is a menace, and Curtis Deal is known to law enforcement,” Davis said. “I expect people to chase people who bail out of cars with guns.”
It’s the first police shooting of 2017, and comes during a particularly violent period in Baltimore. So far this year, the city has seen 42 homicides in 40 days.
The city is in the midst of finalizing a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that would mandate sweeping reforms to the police department.
The agreement makes clear that a person’s presence in a high-crime area isn’t enough to initiate a chase or justify an arrest, but police said officers pursued Deal not because he was in a high-crime zone, but because he was armed and dangerous.