Police: La. man fatally shot tried to run, fought with officer
Police said Calvin Toney tried to flee when a state child welfare case worker and the officer showed up at an apartment complex
By Michael Kunzelman and Melinda Deslatte
BATON ROUGE, La. — A man killed by a Baton Rouge police officer had tried to run when confronted during a child abuse investigation, fought with the officer and kept resisting after being shot, authorities said Tuesday.
The Louisiana State Police said 24-year-old Calvin Toney "attempted to flee on foot" when a state child welfare case worker and the city officer showed up Monday evening at an apartment complex and had a "lengthy struggle" with the officer, who used a stun gun on Toney multiple times.
"After being shot, Toney fled and was later taken into custody by the officer. While taking Toney into custody, he remained non-compliant and was placed into handcuffs for safety reasons," the state police said in a statement from Senior Trooper Bryan Lee.
Toney was alert and receiving medical attention from police when paramedics arrived, and his handcuffs were then removed, Lee said.
Toney died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to the local coroner's office, which released preliminary results of an autopsy performed Tuesday.
The officer suffered minor injuries, Lee said. Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely identified the him as Officer Darrell Carter. He's a 32-year-old black man with 2 1/2 years of service, McKneely said in a text message.
The shooting remains under investigation by the state police. Footage from Carter's body camera and surveillance video from the apartment complex were being reviewed Tuesday by the state police, who said investigators also continued questioning witnesses. None of the video footage was released to the public.
The shooting of Toney, a black man, drew a crowd of angry neighbors Monday night at the apartment complex in north Baton Rouge, a city that was wracked by unrest after a police shooting last year. Calvin Coleman, who identified himself as Toney's father, stood with the others behind the police tape after the shooting.
"It hurts," Coleman said. "It tears you apart knowing that he's right there and there's nothing you can do about it."
The Department of Children and Family Services confirmed the state police's statement and said its case worker was unharmed in the altercation. But agency officials didn't provide further details, citing confidentiality laws.
Department Secretary Marketa Garner Walters said she knows of no other instances where a shooting has occurred during a child welfare visit.
"We've had situations where workers have been attacked by dogs, where workers have been threatened with their life, where workers have had guns pointed at them, where guns actually have been fired over workers' heads," Walters said. "We've had scary situations, but I don't remember a shooting like this."
The department's case worker asked for the police escort because of the "nature of the allegations and previous history involving Toney," according to the state police statement.
Court documents show Toney pleaded guilty in 2014 to cruelty to a juvenile after he was accused of placing his toddler daughter on a kitchen counter next to a hot stove and leaving her. The daughter suffered third-degree burns to her arm, wrist and hand — and also was healing from previous wounds that included multiple bone fractures across her body that three doctors determined were "consistent with abuse," according to court records.
After the guilty plea, Toney was then accused of breaking into the home of his daughter's mother, grabbing her by the throat and throwing her against the wall. Court records show the child's mother told police that Toney became irate because his daughter was scared of him.
State police didn't detail the abuse allegations that prompted Monday's visit to the apartment complex.
After the shooting, about 100 people gathered at the apartment complex, some yelling "Black lives matter," and "No justice, no peace." By Tuesday morning, the protesters were gone, and a maintenance worker at the complex asked an Associated Press reporter to leave the site, saying tensions were high after the shooting.
In July 2016, a white Baton Rouge police officer shot and killed a 37-year-old black man, Alton Sterling, outside a convenience store where he was selling homemade CDs. Two cellphone videos of the shooting quickly spread on social media, sparking nightly protests in Louisiana's capital city. Nearly 200 protesters were arrested in the days after that shooting.