A Washington, D.C., police sergeant was charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of a Black man who fell asleep in his car.
The Metropolitan Police Department sergeant, 41-year-old Enis Jevric, was indicted on March 7 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, according to the Department of Justice. Jevric is also being charged with a federal civil rights violation.
Twenty-seven-year-old An’Twan Gilmore was shot and killed on August 25, 2021, after falling asleep at the wheel of his BMW at a traffic light near Florida Avenue and New York Avenue. MPD officers approached Gilmore as he slept behind the wheel after receiving a call about an “unconscious” man in a vehicle.
Body camera footage showed several MPD officers approaching Gilmore with their guns drawn and making note of the fact that he was asleep. Jevric is heard saying, “Oh, he’s waking up, he’s waking up. Watch the hands! Where’s the gun at? Should we knock?”
One of the officers startled Gilmore awake by knocking on his window as multiple officers yelled, “Don’t move,” prompting him to start his car and attempt to drive off. His car is immediately met with gunfire, and the vehicle pulled to a stop shortly after hitting a tree. At least 10 shots are heard being fired on the video. Officers allegedly witnessed a handgun in Gilmore’s waistband.
The federal indictment stated that Jevric willfully deprived Gilmore of his right to be free from the use of excessive force while acting under the color of law. The former MPD sergeant is facing life in prison if he is convicted.
“Specifically, the defendant used his MPD-issued firearm to shoot and kill Gilmore,” read the indictment. “Count two charges Gilmore with violating federal law by using a firearm to commit second-degree murder. Finally, count three charges the defendant with murder in the second-degree, in violation of D.C. Code. The alleged offenses carry a statutory maximum penalty of life in prison.”
After the shooting, D.C. Councilmember Janeese Lewis George questioned why the police were able to successfully arrest a white man claiming he had a bomb as he sat parked in front of the Library of Congress a pickup truck, but not a sleeping Black man.
“Sitting here trying to figure out how law enforcement can successfully deescalate a white domestic terrorist in a truck threatening to blow up the Capitol with a bomb but not a Black man who fell asleep in his car?”
U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves added that Jevric violated the trust he was sworn to protect and noted the indictment reflected his actions.
“We thoroughly investigate every incident where one of our fellow citizens dies during an interaction with law enforcement,” said Graves. “We have found that most officers use force only when necessary. In these investigations, we follow the evidence and the law. In the overwhelming majority of these cases, criminal charges would not be appropriate. But when an officer willfully disregards the safety of a citizen he is sworn to protect, he violates the trust placed in him by virtue of his badge. Today’s indictment reinforces that we will hold officers who commit civil rights violations accountable.”
The MPD released a statement on March 8 in response to the indictment.
“Since the death of Mr. Gilmore, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has supported the independent and thorough review process conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO),” read the statement.
“Today, they announced a decision to indict the involved MPD member, Sergeant Enis Jevric. In the indictment, the officer has been charged with a federal civil rights violation and second-degree murder. We are confident that the subsequent criminal proceedings will be deliberated fairly, and do recognize this is a difficult matter for everyone involved.”