- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 1, 2000

Monday night's fatal shooting of a Maryland State Police trooper was recorded by a camera hidden inside the vehicle where he was shot during an anti-drug operation, police said yesterday.

Trooper First Class Edward M. Toatley was driving a Toyota Four-Runner wired with a video camera during a drug investigation of Kofi A. Orleans-Lindsay, who is being sought in the trooper's death.

The 23-year-old suspect, a native of Ghana who lives in the 8800 block of Reading Road in Silver Spring, Md., is accused of selling cocaine in Takoma Park, Md., Silver Spring and Northeast Washington, D.C.

Police say Trooper Toatley, 37, was buying cocaine from Mr. Orleans-Lindsay when he was shot once in the head.

Metropolitan Police, Maryland State Police and the FBI are searching between New York and Washington for the suspect, who has family in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, police said.

"We're going to continue at this until we make an arrest," Assistant D.C. police Chief William P. McManus said in front of the 5th District station, where the flag flew at half-staff yesterday.

The Metropolitan Police Department and CrimeSolvers are offering an $11,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the trooper's killer. Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening yesterday added $25,000 to the reward.

"The death of Trooper First Class Edward M. Toatley is a tragic reminder that our law enforcement officers put themselves in the line of danger every minute of every day to protect the safety of all our citizens," the governor said.

Trooper Toatley was a member of the Safe Streets Task Force, created in 1992 to combat street-gang and drug-related violence, as well as track down fugitives wanted for crimes of violence. The task force includes members of the Metropolitan Police, Maryland State Police and the FBI.

He picked up Mr. Orleans-Lindsay in Takoma Park and drove him in the Four-Runner to the 2000 block of Douglas Street NE about 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Two Prince George's County police officers and five FBI agents were waiting near Douglas Street, which is at the intersection of Queens Chapel Road, to back up Trooper Toatley during the drug purchase. The area where the purchase occurred was arranged through the task force.

"[Trooper Toatley] was there to buy a quarter kilo of cocaine. After [Mr. Orleans-Lindsay] got his money, he shot him," said a police source familiar with the case.

Chief McManus said the task force did not notify D.C. police of the operation, but that is not unusual because it is not required.

"It was a controlled buy. The car was rigged [with video and audio equipment]," the source said. "The trooper picked up the accused and one member of the task force followed the car. The other members set up at a predetermined area."

The source said that after Trooper Toatley bought the drugs, the suspect exited the sport utility vehicle, walked a few feet away, returned, opened the passenger door and fired.

"It was a drug rip-off," said the police source. "He never knew he was a cop."

Chief McManus, who confirmed the audio and video equipment recorded the killing, said it did not appear that Mr. Orleans-Lindsay knew Trooper Toatley was an undercover policeman.

Police officers and FBI agents heard the shots and rushed to the Four-Runner, yelling "get him" and "stop him," but the suspect ran across the street and disappeared into the neighborhood.

Trooper Toatley, a decorated 16-year veteran of the state police, is survived by his wife, Inez, a civilian employee of the Maryland State Police; and his three children, whose ages are 18, 5 and 18 months.

Trooper Toatley also served as president of the Coalition of Black Maryland State Troopers.

"Ed was a dedicated Maryland state trooper who loved his family, his fellow troopers and he loved serving and protecting the people of Maryland," State police Superintendent Col. David B. Mitchell said in a statement.

"He was a courageous trooper with a ready smile who deeply cared about doing his best," Col. Mitchell said.

Trooper Toatley died at Washington Hospital Center at 11:05 p.m. Monday, the 38th Maryland trooper to die in the line of duty.

Funeral arrangements were not finalized.

Chief McManus said Mr. Orleans-Lindsay has been arrested five times since 1994 on charges of drug distribution, burglary and car theft. He also is wanted for failing to make paternity payments, which is a misdemeanor.

Mr. Orleans-Lindsay is described as a black man, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 170 pounds, with a burn mark on his left hand and wrist. He is considered armed.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call detectives at 202/727-4504 or D.C. CrimeSolvers at 800/673-2777.

• Jerry Seper contributed to this report.

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