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Officer suing Baltimore Police for shooting in training exercise

A University of Maryland police trainee who was critically injured during a training exercise with Baltimore Police in February has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city of Baltimore and Baltimore County. According to the lawsuit by the trainee, who was shot during the drill, proper precautions were not taken to protect the trainees.

According to the suit, during the unauthorized exercise, trainees were told to go behind a window inside the abandoned Rosewood Center in Owings Mills. The claimant, who says that the instructor fired his weapon in the direction of the trainees, lost an eye in the shooting. The training instructor has been charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. His trial is scheduled for August of this year.

The lawsuit contends that such training exercises were typical of the training program, and were not properly monitored. In addition to the officer who shot the trainee, the suit names the police commissioner, the head of the training academy, and another training instructor who was on site at the time.

According to the suit, the claimant and the other trainees were taken to an abandoned Rosewood Center facility in Owings Mills that was unsafe and not properly monitored for any training exercises, let alone those in which weapons would be fired. It was filled with trash and dangerous debris. The suit also claims that the training instructors were carrying loaded weapons.

Although the Baltimore Police Department said that there would be more transparency and accountability after the shooting, it reinstituted an "active shooter" training program just a month after the shooting, with new protocols. A new training director for the academy was named, but that person soon left. Police have yet to name a new director.

Most workers' compensation injuries do not involve something as drastic as a shooting. However, anyone who has been hurt in a work-related incident should retain legal counsel to ensure that they receive adequate compensation for their injuries, and any temporary or permanent disability suffered.

Source:  The Baltimore Sun, "Lawsuit filed in shooting of Md. police trainee" Justin Fenton, Jun. 14, 2013

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