|Tuesday, August 16, 2011 – Anne Kramer|
|A Baltimore judge has sentenced a city police officer to 15 years in prison for the shooting death of a man outside the Eden Lounge last year.
Officer Gahiji Tshamba was found guilty in June of manslaughter and gun charges in the death of Tyrone Brown.
Prosecutors were seeking a conviction of first degree murder.
Police say Tshamba fired 13 shots at Brown after the two argued outside the lounge.
He has been suspended without pay since he was charged and now will be terminated from the department.
The family of Tyrone Brown has filed a suit against the City.
City States Attorney Release:
August 16, 2011 — Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Edward R.K. Hargadon sentenced Gahiji Tshamba today to 15 years in prison for fatally shooting Tyrone Brown behind a nightclub last summer.
On June 5, 2010, at approximately 1 a.m., Tshamba, an off-duty Baltimore City police officer, was standing with three female friends near a rear alley entrance to the Red Maple nightclub in the city’s Mt. Vernon area when Brown, in the company of his sister and her friend, inappropriately touched one of the defendant’s friends, according to evidence elicited at trial. Brown immediately apologized to the woman, Crystal Ramsay, who then tried to slap Brown in the face. Brown blocked the attempt and apologized again for his conduct. Without identifying himself as a police officer, Tshamba subsequently drew his department-issued Glock .40 caliber weapon, sarcastically urged Brown to do it again, and ordered Brown to the ground. Brown pled with Tshamba to put down the gun, identifying himself as a U.S. Marine and father. Tshamba followed by shooting Brown 12 times, killing him.
In a bench trial, Judge Hargadon convicted Tshamba on June 9, 2011, of voluntary manslaughter and the use of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime.
In a sentencing memorandum filed with the court, State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein and Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Y.T. Wiggins wrote: “In sum, the defendant has shown a complete disregard for human life. More troubling, he has tried to justify his actions by hiding behind his status as a police officer as if the fact that he is authorized to carry a weapon allows him to empty its contents into an unarmed civilian whose sole transgression was an inappropriate gesture to the defendant’s female companion.”
Mr. Brown served as a U.S. Marine for eights years, a tenure that included a tour in Iraq from 2001 to 2005. Mr. Brown’s company was one of the first to go into Fallujah where he survived an attack when an Improvised Explosive Device struck the Humvee that he was riding in, throwing him from the vehicle and causing an injury.
Mr. Brown is survived by two children, a mother and father, siblings, cousins, and many friends and fellow Marines.
… Goodbye, Mr. Tshamba. …