Monday, May 22, 2000

A Prince George’s County, Md., police officer shot and killed a burglary suspect after the man allowed his rottweiler to attack police and ignored the officer’s order to drop a weapon, police said.

It was the second time in two days that a suspect died in a struggle with county police.

The shooting Saturday occurred shortly after midnight in Temple Hills. Police said Kendell Grant of the 2400 block of Gaither Street was trying to break into his neighbor’s house. He allowed the dog to attack police and then attempted to assault the neighbor, a 37-year-old man, with a knife. Police shot the dog and then ordered Mr. Grant to drop the knife. When he didn’t, the officer shot Mr. Grant. The neighbor suffered minor injuries, police said.

On Friday, a man died after struggling with three Prince George’s County police officers who went to a store in Largo to investigate a complaint of disorderly conduct.

Officers were called to a Target store in Largo at 3 p.m. and again a half-hour later after store employees said the man was creating a disturbance, police spokesman Royce Holloway said.

The man, identified as Clarence Edward Stewart, 52, of Upper Marlboro, left the store after police arrived the first time, but returned and was being interviewed by a police officer in the security office when he became “irate” and “irrational” and hit the officer in the face, Mr. Holloway said.

Two other officers were called to the store and joined in the struggle. Mr. Stewart was unarmed, and Mr. Holloway said that to his knowledge, the officers did not use their weapons.

At some point during the struggle, Mr. Stewart lost consciousness. He was pronounced dead at Prince George’s Hospital Center. An autopsy will be conducted.

A task force was formed last month to review county police conduct in the wake of two civil rights verdicts.

Federal juries awarded $4.1 million to a Temple Hills man who lost his right eye and partial use of his left hand as a result of a 1997 police beating, and $647,000 to a Salvadoran immigrant who was left handcuffed to a post.

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