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Laurel police: Use of force down with body cameras

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- After two years of using police body cameras, Laurel police are now reporting use of force by police is down 30 percent.

"It holds everybody to a higher standard," said Chief Richard McLaughlin.

The department has deployed 32 cameras at a cost of about $2,000 each.

Some citizens fear the cameras violate privacy and worry that police might be able to manipulate or edit video to use against suspects.

Others applaud the cameras.

"At least whatever happens we'll be able to confirm it," said Eniola Otuvando.

Results in Laurel mirror results in other cities that have adopted body cameras. In Rialto, California, use of force is down 59 percent and brutality complaints are down 88 percent.

Shoppers get a jump on Black Friday

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Shoppers started their shopping on Thanksgiving, what is now also being called Gray Thursday.

The National Retail Federation estimate about 25.6 million people are choosing to shop this Thanksgiving day, which is a lot less than the 95 million expected to come out for Black Friday.

There was plenty of parking and enough people to provide a buzz indoors at a Laurel mall.

Industry experts say that Gray Thursday may be quite popular among the young shoppers. According to experts, young people love the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving night so they can leave their parents, escape doing dishes and head out with their friends to go and see what kinds of deals are being offered.

Gray Thursday is problematic for some. Many employees who have to work on Thanksgiving are not thrilled about leaving their families and working on the holiday.



Ben Cherington and Kylie Levy of Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) Performing Arts Academy of Lorton, Va. and Alexandria, Va. were recently recognized for All-Star Cast by the Virginia Theatre Association Conference for their performances in I Never Saw Another Butterfly. This was the first time Metropolitan School of the Arts had participated in the conference. Cherington, an 11th grader from Burke, Va., and Levy, a 10th grader from Fairfax, Va. are students at Metropolitan School of the Arts. For more information, go to www.metropolitanarts.org.

Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) also earned the 2014 Virginia Theatre Association Conference award for Best Costume Design and was recognized for Staging, as well as received an honorable mention for Best Play, I Never Saw Another Butterfly.

2 pedestrians struck by van in Laurel

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Two pedestrians were injured after being struck by a vehicle in Laurel, Md. Wednesday night, authorities said.

The accident happened around 9:40 p.m. in the 14000 block of Route 1 at the intersection with Cypress St in Laurel, Maryland State Police said.

The two pedestrians were standing in road when they were hit by the van, police said. This was not a high speed incident, according to authorities.

Both of the adults suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the van stayed at the scene of the accident, police said.

Police seek suspect in Laurel homicide

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Anne Arundel County Police are searching for a suspect and vehicle in connection with a homicide that took place in Laurel on Saturday.

Juan Lux Quinilla, age 36 of Langley Park Maryland is wanted for first degree murder and other related charges, police said. Police are also searching for a 2006 Cadillac Escalade with possible Maryland tags reading 01936CF.

At about 10:19 p.m. Saturday police were called to the 200 block of Red Clay Road in Laurel for reported gunshots. Upon arrival officers entered an apartment and found an adult male suffering from gunshot wounds, police said. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics, police said. Quinilla shot and killed the victim with a handgun, police said.

The victim has been identified as Abelardo Alvarado Aguilar, age 37 of Hyattsville, police said.

MDTA officer fires shot during Md. car chase

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA) -- A Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police Officer fired a single shot during a car chase on MD Route 200 Wednesday close to the mile marker 9.6, Maryland State Police Department said.

The pursuit happened around 12:31 p.m., according to authorities. The MDTA police officer initiated a traffic stop on an Infiniti for excessive speed, police said. The driver failed to stop and the pursuit was initiated.

The vehicle in the chase got stuck in traffic at Annandale and Old Gunpowder Rd. where the officer got out of his vehicle and tried to apprehend the suspect.

The suspect tried to run down the officer with his car and the officer then fired one round and hit the hood of the suspect's car, police said. The pursuit continued to 7301 Floating Leaf Court in Laurel, where the suspect was tased when he would not comply, authorities stated.

Boy struck by car in MD

ANNE ARUNDEL CO. , Md. (WUSA9) -- An 8-year-old Maryland boy is in the hospital with very serious injuries after being hit by a car.

It happened around 4:00 Sunday afternoon on Old Line Avenue near Wye Mills South Road, near Laurel in Anne Arundel County.

TJ Healy a witness described that: "We were in the house and I heard a thud and I knew right away what it was. My kids had been playing in the front yard with the boy who was hit."

TJ Healy thought for a second it was one of his children who got hit, when he came running out of the house.

"I saw my kids and I was somewhat relieved, I went to him and I did what I could," Healy said.

Witnesses say, a white truck parked on the side was a blind spot both for the driver and the boy. Healy says the boy was dragged several yards away and suffered broken bones and a head injury.