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Racial Profiling: America's Death Squads

by Excelsior Friday, Jul. 13, 2001 at 10:40 AM

Three months after Prince Jones was murdered, the cop filed a charge against a man, alleging that he thought Prince Jones was not that man, but an associate of that man, which satisfied the FBI that this was not a death-squadding instance according to a policy of witch-hunting of young black males driving nice cars with PG license plates if spotted in DC high- crime areas.

Stories about Prince Georges County, MD, cop
abuses in a civil rights vacuum. Illustrates the
vicious cycle of buying problems and solutions
from the same people.
PG is next to DC. PG cops staked out an open air
drug market in DC, looking for MD plates. They
profiled Prince Jones, a Howard U student with a
full-time job, who was a "young single black male
driving a nice car with MD plates in DC". Assuming
he was there buying drugs, two cops followed him
for hours, back to MD, back to DC, on into VA where
he planned to visit his girlfriend.

After several hours Prince confronted one of the
cops, also black. Rather than show his badge, the
cop showed his gun and ordered Prince to get back
in his car. Prince wanted the MD cop unlawfully
impersonating a lawful VA cop to stop stalking him,
so he rammed the left front wheel of the cop's vehicle
to disable it. He didn't make a mark on the driver's
side door. The third time he approached to disable the
left front wheel, having established a pattern of
ramming that wheel and not touching the driver's
door, the cop fired sixteen shots, killing his stalking
victim for attempting to throw his steering alignment

The cop claimed self-defense. He claimed he thought
he was following somebody else, successfully diverting
attention from the PG practice of death-squadding
profiled MD license plate vehicle owners spotted in
DC. Three months after Prince Jones was murdered,
the cop filed a charge against a man, alleging that he
thought Prince Jones was not that man, but an
associate of that man, which satisfied the FBI that
this was not a death-squadding instance according to
a policy of witch-hunting of young black males driving
nice cars with PG license plates if spotted in DC high-
crime areas.

PG cops have shot a lot of people, some innocent,
some unarmed and in custody, some twice.


A Blue Wall of Silence
Killing with Impunity

Prince George's county police have shot and killed
at rates exceeding those of nearly any other large
force in the nation. (Series of articles)


Cases Tied To Killing Of Jones Are Dropped

By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 12, 2001; Page B01

Prince George's County prosecutors dropped two first-degree assault
charges yesterday against the man whom undercover Cpl. Carlton B.
Jones allegedly thought he was following the night he shot and killed
a Hyattsville MD man in Fairfax County VA.

Prince George's State's Attorney Jack B. Johnson said in an interview
that he dropped the charges against Derrell Lamont Gilchrist specifically
because Jones initiated the investigation. After Jones shot and killed Prince
C. Jones Jr. on Sept. 1, it was disclosed that the police department had
found Carlton Jones guilty of filing a false police report in a 1997 case
but that prosecutors had never been told of the finding.

Johnson announced in February that because of the guilty finding, he
would never again call Carlton Jones as a prosecution witness. He also
said then that he was dropping or reviewing 22 cases in which Jones
was the key investigator. But the charges against Gilchrist were dismissed
only yesterday.

Gilchrist's attorney, Douglas J. Wood, said he believes that the charges
were trumped up to "create the impression Gilchrist was a dangerous
guy, to corroborate Carlton Jones's account that he shot at a bad guy."

He noted that although the first assault allegedly took place in July 2000,
Gilchrist was not named in a warrant until six weeks after Howard
University student Prince Jones was slain.

"I don't know how we can explain to a jury that someone assaulted a
police officer and was not charged with that offense for three months,"
Johnson said.

Prince George's police spokesman Royce Holloway said only that "the
state's attorney has the right to make such determinations." Carlton
Jones's attorney did not return a telephone message left last evening.

Gregory L. Lattimer, a lawyer representing Prince Jones's mother in a
federal civil lawsuit against police, said the police account that Carlton
Jones thought he was shooting at Gilchrist is "a concocted fairy tale they
have come up with in order to justify their utter stupidity in following
Prince Jones and blasting him to death."

Lattimer said Prince George's and Fairfax County police have testified
in depositions that Carlton Jones said he believed he was shooting at an
associate of Gilchrist's, not Gilchrist.

According to court records, the associate is 5 feet 9 inches tall. Gilchrist
is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds. Prince Jones was 6 feet 2
inches tall and about 200 pounds.

Police alleged that Gilchrist tried to run officers over in a car on July 13,
2000, but Gilchrist was not charged with the assault until Oct. 16. Four
days after police obtained the warrant, they tried to arrest Gilchrist, who
again tried to run them over and again eluded arrest, according to police
charging documents.

Johnson dropped both of those cases.

"The fact [that Carlton Jones] lied in an official capacity has to undermine
anything he is related to," said Johnson, explaining why he dropped the
assault charges against Gilchrist.

Carlton Jones's fatal shooting of Prince Jones created a firestorm of
controversy and sparked a U.S. Department of Justice investigation,
which officials recently closed, saying that they found no evidence
contradicting Carlton Jones's contention that he acted in self-defense
when he fired 16 rounds at Prince Jones's back. Fairfax County
Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. had earlier declined
to prosecute the officer, saying he acted in self-defense.

Carlton Jones has told investigators that he was afraid for his life because
Prince Jones backed into his vehicle twice. [not a scratch on door! -B]

The series of events involving Gilchrist began with Carlton Jones, Johnson
said yesterday. On July 13, 2000, undercover county narcotics police officers
set up a meeting between Gilchrist and a confidential source in Hyattsville,
according to police charging documents.

The source asked Gilchrist to deliver a large amount of crack cocaine,
according to the charging documents. It was Jones who said a confidential
source was fingering Gilchrist as a drug dealer, Johnson said.

Gilchrist ignored orders by uniformed officers who tried to arrest him,
backing his truck toward officers and brushing one detective, the charging
documents alleged. Gilchrist then drove away, the documents state.

2001 The Washington Post Company
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