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Rev. Al Sharpton Leads Protest Against Baltimore County's Handling Of Korryn Gaines Killing

Rev. Al Sharpton addresses crowd at rally in Towson. Credit: John Lee

There were renewed calls Wednesday for Baltimore County to charge the police officer who nearly five years ago shot and killed 23-year-old Korryn Gaines.

“Say her name,” The Rev. Al Sharpton called out to the crowd of several dozen who had gathered outside the circuit court in Towson. They responded, “Korryn Gaines.” People were holding signs with the same message.

Gaines was shot and killed by Corporal Royce Ruby, who recently retired after 21 years on the force. Gaines, who her family’s attorneys said was mentally ill, barricaded herself in her Randallstown apartment with her five-year-old, who was badly injured after being shot in the face by the officer, who fired through a wall. Gaines was being served an arrest warrant for not showing up in court on a traffic case.

Gaines was armed with a shotgun and the state’s attorney said the shooting was justified. Sharpton and others want Ruby charged and Gaines’ family given a $38 million-dollar civil settlement that remains in limbo in the courts.

Wednesday’s rally followed a procedural hearing in the circuit court regarding the civil case.

Sharpton told the crowd, “I want you to know we will be back over and over and over and we will make this as national as we can.”

A spokesman for County Executive Johnny Olszewski said the county has made an offer to resolve the civil case but declined to say for how much.

“This administration inherited the case following the tragic death of Ms. Gaines, and our focus now is on doing right by the family of Ms. Gaines and, in particular, her children,” said Olszewski’s press secretary Sean Naron.

J. Wyndal Gordon, an attorney for the Gaines family, said they want closure.

“This case has been going on for five years,” Gordon said. “We want not only civil verdicts but we also want criminal prosecutions. When police officers commit homicide, they should be prosecuted.”

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger declined to comment.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2