Duncan Lemp in 2019 (Courtesy of Lemp family) and stock photo SWAT CLP Media/Shutterstock
It has been six weeks since a SWAT team shot and killed 21-year-old Duncan Lemp in a 4:30 a.m. raid at his family’s home in Potomac, Maryland, an affluent and sedate suburb of Washington, D.C. Montgomery County Police have thus far refused to provide any evidence on how or why they killed Lemp. But a county prosecutor leaped to action on Wednesday, effectively threatening any Lemp family members who attend a protest over his killing with a $5000 fine and a year in jail.
The reason? Maryland’s strict stay-at-home orders, imposed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan last month.
As I reported in American Conservative here and here, a Montgomery County SWAT team launched an unprovoked attack on the Lemp family home at 4:30 a.m. on March 12. Lemp was fatally wounded by the first shots that the police fired through his bedroom window. His family says he was sleeping in bed with his pregnant girlfriend at the time.
Police claim that they received an anonymous tip two months earlier that Lemp possessed firearms. The police department asserted Lemp was prohibited from owning firearms due to a juvenile conviction but there are apparently zero court records or other records to support that justification. Regardless of Lemp’s juvenile history, there was no evidence that he posed an imminent threat justifying a frontal assault that included throwing flash-bang explosive devices into the family home.
But now Montgomery County has a new imminent threat—angry relatives of the guy they killed. County prosecutor Haley Roberts sent a warning letter to Lemp family lawyers Jonathan Fellner and Rene Sandler: “Open source information indicates that your clients intend to participate in this planned protest” over the killing of Duncan Lemp at Montgomery County Police headquarters on April 25. “Open source” apparently means that the local police are tracking Lemp family members on social media, where the Lemp killing is still enraging legions of folks. Roberts warned that Gov. Hogan’s “‘stay-at-home’ order… does not appear to include planned protests.” Roberts stated that the county police department asked the lawyers to remind the Lemp family “of the Governor’s orders, as well as the charge from those orders and state law mandating law enforcement must enforce these orders.” At least the prosecutor did not hint that the SWAT team would attack them if they showed up.
Read the rest here