Body-worn camera footage released today by the Baltimore County Police Department shows that a police officer shot an unarmed man eight times when the man got out of his car during a traffic stop.
Eric Sopp was shot and killed on November 26, 2019, shortly before 9:00 p.m., on the side of a highway in northern Baltimore County, Maryland. Mr. Sopp’s mother had called 911 earlier that evening to report that Mr. Sopp was suicidal and had been drinking at home before driving away. Officers responding to that call pulled Mr. Sopp over as he drove southbound on I-83 near Mr. Carmel Road. The body camera footage shows that the officer who shot Mr. Sopp had his gun drawn and finger on the trigger when he approached Mr. Sopp’s car. When the unarmed Mr. Sopp, with nothing in his hands, got out of the car after the officer told him not to, the officer shot him eight times.
Mr. Sopp’s mother, Catherine Sopp, anguished by her son’s unnecessary death, stated, “I never imagined that when I called 911 to protect my son and others from him driving drunk, it would cost him his life. There was no reason for the officer to shoot and kill him.”
The Sopp family is represented by Andrew D. Freeman and Chelsea J. Crawford of the law firm of Brown, Goldstein & Levy. Ms. Crawford observed that “the video shows an unnecessary use of force by the police officer. There was no excuse for this officer to shoot and kill an unarmed man.”