Will Montgomery County Circuit Court Demand More?

Will Montgomery County Circuit Court Demand More?

Duncan Socrates Lemp was killed by police serving a no-knock warrant on March 12, 2020.

Duncan Lemp on a family vacation in Venice in 2019.

Duncan Lemp on a family vacation in Venice in 2019.

Duncan Lemp, 21, was killed by police in the bedroom of his Potomac home on March 12, 2020, after police attempted to serve a no-knock warrant at approximately 4:30 a.m. Howard County, which has a reciprocal agreement to investigate police shootings with Montgomery County, continues to investigate the shooting, while the Lemp family and public await more answers in the case.

Meanwhile, Judicial Watch filed a Public Information Act lawsuit against Montgomery County’s Police Department and asked Montgomery County Circuit Court to command the release of all body camera footage from the fatal shooting.

A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 2, 2020; Montgomery County has moved to dismiss the case.

Judicial Watch “filed the lawsuit in the circuit court for Montgomery County, Maryland after the Montgomery County Police Department failed to respond to a June 18 PIA request seeking: All body-worn camera videos relating to the raid on, and resulting death of, Duncan Socrates Lemp by a Montgomery County Police SWAT team on March 12, 2020 at Mr. Lemp’s home in Potomac, Maryland.”

Lemp’s family asked for footage to be released immediately after his killing; police released photos of firearms recovered at the St. James Road residence but nothing more.

Gun-rights advocates have responded with outrage to Lemp’s death at the hands of police, pointing to the incident as a cautionary tale about consequences of “red-flag” laws.

FAMILY ATTORNEYS say police, at 4:30 a.m. March 12, murdered the 21-year-old who lived with his parents, girlfriend and brother on St. James Road in Potomac. Lemp was asleep when the police executed a search warrant, the family said.

Days later, police say Lemp was shot dead by an officer during execution of a high-risk search warrant, adding that Lemp confronted police while holding a rifle.

Both parties agree that Lemp was killed by a member of the police’s Special Operations Division – Tactical Unit.

Contrary to MCPD practice, the police officer(s) has not been identified.

“If proper police procedure were used to execute a search warrant, Duncan would absolutely be alive today,” said Rene Sandler, attorney for the family, in an interview two days after the fatal shooting.

“Any attempt by the police to shift responsibility onto Duncan or his family who were sleeping when the police fired shots into their home is not supported by the facts,” the family said in a statement.

LEMP’S FAMILY requested for Montgomery County Police to immediately release all body camera footage and audio from the incident.

“Lemp was prohibited from possessing firearms and detectives were following up on a complaint from the public that Lemp, though prohibited, was in possession of firearms,” said police.

Detectives say they recovered three rifles and two handguns from the residence, and that Lemp “confronted the officers” when he was fatally shot by an officer assigned to the Tactical Unit.

“No search warrant gives the police the right to shoot into a house full of people when they are sleeping without specific threat of imminent harm,” said Sandler. “In this case, there was no threat of imminent harm which can at all support the conduct of the police.”