Justice for Dalaneo Martin: Civil Rights Probe Launched into Fatal Police Shooting of Black 17-Year-Old in D.C.

People – Brandon Livesay 

April 6, 2023


Dalaneo Martin was shot by a police officer sitting behind him in the same car

A civil rights investigation has been announced into the police shooting of Black Washington D.C. teenager Dalaneo Martin.

Martin, 17, was shot dead by a United States Park Police (USPP) officer on March 18 after he was found asleep inside a suspected stolen vehicle near 34th Street and Baker Street NE. Body camera video shows a police officer entering the back door of the SUV, which led to the suspect accelerating away with the officer still inside. After yelling for him to stop, the officer opens fire on the teenager.

A statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Wednesday said a civil rights investigation had begun. “The loss of a life is always tragic but is especially heartbreaking when it involves a child. On Saturday, March 18th, 17-year-old Dalaneo Martin tragically died after a shooting involving the U.S. Park Police, and we recognize that the body-worn camera footage just released of his death is extremely upsetting,”

“In coordination with the FBI Washington Field Office, the United States Attorney’s Office has opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances leading to Mr. Martin’s death. That investigation — which we are committed to conducting diligently and thoroughly — is ongoing,” the statement added.

Martin’s mother, Terra Martin, told a press conference Wednesday that she wanted the name of the officer who shot her son released to the public, WTOP reported. “I need the officer arrested immediately for murder — first-degree murder,” she told reporters gathered at her attorney’s office.

“Dalaneo did not have to die,” added the Martin family’s attorney, Andrew O. Clarke.  “How long will they be able to hide behind their badge to justify taking a life? How long will we as a community have to continue to have the talk with our young Black children because they are treated differently by police?”

In the video police officers can be heard strategizing on how to approach the situation, with one officer saying “please, don’t get caught inside… Don’t get inside that car.”

The footage then shows an officer climbing through an open rear passenger door of the vehicle, after which someone yells “Police, Don’t move.”

At this point, the driver appears to wake up and accelerate while the officer is still in the back seat. Orders of “Stop, stop or I’ll shoot” can be heard in the video before the officer opens fire multiple times from the back seat. The white SUV then crashes into a nearby home.

Martin is later seen on the ground outside the SUV, with officers performing CPR. Tragically, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A GoFundMe has been set up to cover funeral costs and the ongoing support of Martin’s child.

“Dalaneo was an excellent father to his seven-month-old son and leaves behind his mother, father, siblings and other family and friends who are now mourning his loss,” the GoFundMe description says.

“We are devastated by this senseless act of violence and are seeking justice for Dalaneo. We also want to ensure that his family and young son are supported during this difficult time.”



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