♦ Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes held a 4:30 p.m. Friday press conference at 1 Water Street in Salisbury, N.C. Its focus was on Thursday’s officer involved “No Knock” Warrant shooting incident at 625 E. Lafayette Street which led to the death of Ferguson C. Laurent, 22. Chief Stokes report was lengthy and contained many details. Here are the highlights.
• Superior Court Judge Anna Mills Wagner signed the 3 “No Knock” Warrants that set in motion the SPD’s Special Response Team (SRT), including narcotics detectives, to go to 625 E. Lafayette Street at 9:10 a.m. A informant allegedly made a marijuana buy at 625 E. Lafayette 72 hours prior to the “No Knock” warrant being issued. The informant also saw multiple weapons in the home and noted that people living there had weapons on their person. Several were suspects in armed robberies and other weapons-related crimes.
• Police detectives parked their car with its blue lights on in a shared driveway between the trailer homes. All officers wore clothing easily identifying them as Police.
• An unidentified man inside the trailer home opened the window as if to crawl out. Stokes conjectured that this man likely would’ve seen the officers outside and the police vehicle in the driveway with its blue lights on.
• SRT forced the rear door of the trailer open, tossed in a flash-bang grenade (Makes a loud bang and white light flash and lots of smoke to disorient persons anywhere near it), and then called out “Police!” as they entered. Moving toward the back bedroom they saw Laurent. Stokes conjectured that Laurent knew the men were police.
• On Friday an incident report was released stating that police officers Boehm and Lancaster were the first SRT members to enter before Laurent fired his handgun once. The incident report stated that Boehm returned fire striking Laurent several times. First aid was immediately administered by Fire Department medical personnel. Laurent was transported to Novant Rowan Regional Medical Center where he expired.
• Salisbury Police investigators collected crack cocaine, ammo, weapons, marijuana, a bong mask, $1,513 in cash, digital scales, cell phones, and a bulletproof vest from Laurent’s mobile home.
• It was revealed the SRT officers did not wear body cams. Stokes told the press conference that only patrol officers wear body cams. The reason offered was that SRT did not want to reveal their tactics for entering into dangerous situations.
• Two individuals were taken into custody at the scene. One was arrested: Ariel Anthony Peterson, 20, faced an earlier outstanding warrant for resist/obstruct/delay an officer (misdemeanor) from a prior incident in January.
• Stokes said the SPD has an ongoing drug investigation that may result in more charges.
• Boehm, 33, a veteran of the Salisbury Police since 2008, was placed on administrative paid leave pending the outcome of the SBI and a separate internal police investigation. Boehm was involved in another officer involved shooting death. The SBI investigated and determined the shooting justified.
• Salisbury Police Detective D.M. Barkalow requested a “No Knock” warrant because he believed officers executing a regular “knock and announce” warrant would be in danger if they announced before entering.
• Friends and neighbors of Laurent said that Laurent may have been on alert because his place got broken into on August 26th where 2 video game consoles and $135 were stolen.