Spencer Lee McCain
July 19, 1973
June 25, 2015
Age at Death:
Mr. McCain was affectionately known as "Man" because at a very early age, his father noticed he demonstrated a strong, quiet spirit, just like a little man, and the nick-name stuck. He received his education in the Baltimore City Public School System where he excelled in many activities and sports. Though he worked many jobs, he realized he had a knack for ALWAYS helping others. This gift led him to pursue a career in the field of phlebotomy. He also performed duties as a Lab Technician for John Hopkins University, and various other agencies. He had three young children: Saniya, Nia and Ka.
Mr. McCain, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed by Baltimore County police who answered a domestic incident. Mr. McCain was shot about 1 a.m. at a condominium in Owings Mills, Md., while a woman who said he threatened to beat her was there with her two young children, according to Baltimore County Police authorities. Police said the incident began when one of the children in the home called her grandmother, who called 911 and asked police to go there. The officer arriving heard screams and called for backup. Three officers, believing McCain had a weapon, saw him in a "defensive position" and all opened fire, but no weapon was found. Police said the woman had head injuries, cuts, bruises and swelling. Police said she told detectives that Mr. McCain said to her: “You’re going to get the beating you deserve.” Sixteen to 20 domestic violence calls had been made to that home address since 2012, a police spokesman stated. Neighbors said the couple fought often and last fall a SWAT team was called to diffuse a situation involving the same suspect.
Was justice served?
No. As of 01/11/2021, a wrongful death/excessive force lawsuit was filed and pending by Mr. McCain's children's mother and Mr. McCain's mother against the police officers and Baltimore County. The lawsuit documents state a) the 911 dispatcher advised that Mr. McCain "was a paranoid schizophrenic who has been hospitalized multiple times", b) the officers shot 18 rounds into the area where Mr. McCain was located within 26 seconds of advising dispatch they were breaching the door, c) no Crisis Unit was dispatched even though the 911 dispatcher advised of Mr. McCain's known schizophrenia, d) officers are advised to apply de-escalation techniques when a mental health crisis is encountered but none of the responding officers had been trained on these tactics at the time of the shooting. The police were fully aware of the prior domestic violence complaints. Also noteworthy was Mr. McCain had a court order to stay away from the home, a criminal record, including a handgun conviction and a domestic violence case.