Prince George's County police said yesterday that the actions of Cpl. Robert W. Raimond that led to the fatal shooting of a District policeman in his Largo home on Dec. 14 were "justifiable" and that Raimond has been returned to full duty.
However, Raimond has been reassigned from patrol duties to an administrative position in the communications division. He had been on administrative leave with pay since the shooting.
While the police investigation has cleared Raimond, the shooting is still being investigated by Alonzo Black, who was appointed as an independent investigator by county State's Attorney Alex Williams on Dec. 18.
Raimond, 27, assigned to the Bowie District, was on routine patrol when he responded to a burglary call at 10612 Mount Lubentia Way, according to police. He went to the rear of the house where he saw James L. Gordon, whom he mistook for a burglar, standing in the family room, police said.
Raimond, a six-year member of the county police force, told investigators that he ordered Gordon to "freeze." According to Mark Spriggs, a neighbor who witnessed the 6:40 p.m. shooting, Gordon instead turned and raised his hands together as if he were about to fire a weapon. Raimond, standing outside an open window, fired one shot from his service revolver, hitting Gordon, 40, in the chest.
The shooting of a black man in his home by a white police officer has stirred controversy that has been fueled by accusations by D.C. police officers who said that D.C. police were kept in the dark about many details of the investigation and were not given proper access to the scene after the incident, and that paramedics were not allowed to enter the house upon arrival.
In the week that followed, Prince George's Police Chief Michael J. Flaherty responded with two open letters aimed at defusing the emotionally fed controversy.
In his new position, Raimond will have little contact with the public. The reassignment was made because "it was felt that it is in the best interest of the officer and of the department," said police spokesman Sgt. Mark A. Wright.