From WBAL Baltimore
View Full Story also at WBAL11
An encounter between a Howard County teenager and an off-duty Baltimore City police officer has led to a peace order against the officer.
Jawone Nicholson, 16, and a friend were waiting in a carpool area in their Columbia neighborhood Friday when a man approached them and started asking questions.
Nicholson said they walked toward the man when he made a taunting statement.
“And he pulls his gun out of his jacket pocket, held it right here. It wasn’t in a holster, it was outside the holster, and me and my homeboy put our hands up and started walking through there, and I called my grandmother,” Nicholson said.
Nicholson’s mother, Erica Hamlett, then encountered the man and learned he was a police officer.
“He then hollers out “Baltimore City.’ So we are all looking at each other like, what does that mean?” Hamlett said. “And he says, ‘I’m a Baltimore City police officer.’ So still my question is, why did you pull a gun on my son?”
Howard County police officers arrived, and video shows the officers removing the gun.
The city officer is Damond Durant, who lives half a block away. In a police report, he said, “The subjects then became confrontational. He felt threatened, so he removed his concealed firearm from its holster and positioned it in the low, ready position.”
Nicholson denied being threatening or saying anything that might be seen as threatening.
Durant told Howard County police that he didn’t have time to identify himself as a police officer.
Hamlett said her son was rattled by the encounter.
“He didn’t say he witnessed them committing a crime or there was illegal activity going on. Why did you pull your gun on my son?” Hamlett said.
Nicholson provided Howard County police with a written statement. Durant refused to give one, according to the police report.
The family got a temporary peace order against Durant. They go back to court Monday.
In 2013, Durant broke a man’s jaw during an arrest, resulting in a $55,000 payment to the man by the city. Durant is assigned to the division that helps oversee the consent decree.