A Mobile Police Department officer shot and killed a 16-year-old during a pre-dawn raid executing a search warrant on Monday.
MPD arrived at a residence on the 3400 block of Sheringham Drive around 5:37 a.m. to conduct a search warrant for drug paraphernalia and marijuana possession. MPD says the warrant was for 18-year-old D’Angelo Adjessom, who was not at the house at the time of the early morning raid.
MPD said they executed the search at 5:30 a.m. and, after knocking “multiple times,” breached the home. It is unclear how forcefully or aggressively the police entered the home or how long they gave the residents to respond to their knocks.
Officers then entered the home and went into a hallway where they encountered the 16-year-old, who police allege was carrying a “laser-sighted weapon.” An officer then shot the teenager, hitting him at least once in the torso. Police did not explain why they described the weapon as a “laser-sighted weapon” or its relevance.
The teenager was sent to Springhill Hospital but later died from his wounds. While Adjessom was not at the home when the shooting occurred, there were five or six other people there, including an 8-year-old child, according to Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine. After news of the shooting broke, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson made a statement, which is also on Facebook, offering condolences to the teenager’s family, announcing an immediate ban on most pre-dawn search warrants and a call for a comprehensive review of the Mobile Police Department’s policies.
“First, I have asked former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama Kenyen Brown to perform a comprehensive review of the Mobile Police Department’s policy, procedures and training related to officers’ use of force,” Stimpson said. “His work will include a review of prior incidences of police use of force and full access to all evidence, including body camera footage. Following this review, he will issue a report of his findings and recommendations within 90 days. This report will be made available to the public. Secondly, while this review is being conducted, I am issuing an immediate ban on the Mobile Police Department’s use of pre-dawn search warrants unless there is a pressing need to protect human life. In those rare cases, they will require the approval of the Chief of Police and Public Safety Director.”
Adjessom would come to the house after the police shooting and would be promptly arrested by police and taken to jail. The deceased teenager was related to Adjessom.
“We have a lot to learn from this,” Prine said. “Sometimes they don’t make the best decisions, but I want the family and friends to know that our prayers are certainly with the family and friends during this difficult time.”
This is also not the first incident this year where Mobile police have killed someone during a pre-dawn raid and is also the latest in a string of incidents involving Mobile police.
In March Kordell Jones was shot and killed by Mobile Police officers during a search warrant. Jones was also not the target of the warrant but officers used an “energized breach method” after executing a no-knock search, likely catching all the residents of the home off guard. Police claim they gave instructions for six other residents there including a child to exit the house, which they did.
However, the police claim that Jones jumped out of a window with an AR-style rifle, nude, and was immediately shot by a SWAT officer four times. Prine at the time said the shooting was justified.
In July the death of Jawan Dallas sparked national attention and has resulted in several civil rights lawyers representing the Dallas family to help the bereaved party obtain justice or accountability for Jawan’s death. However, since Jawan’s death, the family has still not seen any body camera or dash cam footage despite the family’s constant pleas and new legislation enacted to allow the family, specifically, access to footage of these police killings.
Then, just several weeks ago, two different videos went viral depicting Mobile police officers using potentially excessive force against both a man and a teenage girl. In one video, an officer is seen repeatedly punching a man who is handcuffed, and in another, the officer slams a 16-year-old girl to the ground.
A Mobile City Council meeting is scheduled to be held today and presumably, the teenager’s death and similar incidents will be a primary issue discussed.