Authorities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana say a 24-year-old black man was shot and killed by an officer responding to an investigation into child abuse at an apartment complex.
Calvin Toney was identified by officials November 14 as the man who was shot dead by an officer who was assisting a child services caseworker conducting an investigation.
Toney’s death sparked widespread protests at the scene of the incident. He was previously sentenced to seven years in prison for cruelty to his 1-year-old daughter and was also arrested for invading the home of his ex-girlfriend and attacking her.
Here’s what you need to know about Toney and the officer-involved shooting incident:
1. Officers Say a Confrontation Started when a Child Services Caseworker & an Officer Investigated Child Abuse Claims
State police said that an officer from the Baton Rouge Police Department was escorting a caseworker with the Department of Children and Family Services at around 6 p.m. on November 13 when a struggle and confrontation ensued between Toney and the officer at The Palms Apartments in Baton Rouge.
The caseworker was conducting an investigation when the officer, who hasn’t yet been identified, got involved in a “struggle” with Toney, a news release said.
The caseworker was looking into several claims of child abuse against Toney. WGNO News reported that as Toney attempted to flee the apartment when he was confronted by the officer and caseworker, he started to fight. Officials say that the officer deployed his stun gun “several times” and eventually shot him. After being shot, Toney reportedly fled the scene and was caught by the officer outside of the complex. The officer said Toney was still resisting and was then put into handcuffs until emergency medical personnel could arrive.
The officer has since been placed on paid administrative leave — as is protocol — and state police have since launched an investigation into the matter. Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome issued a statement after the shooting, asking the community to withhold their judgement until the investigation into the incident is complete.
A preliminary autopsy report stated that Toney died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. Initial social media reports said that Toney was handcuffed when he was shot, however Louisiana State Police Senior Trooper Bryan Lee said that was after he was shot, and the handcuffs were removed when emergency personnel arrived on scene.
“Our preliminary investigation shows the suspect was NOT handcuffed at the time he was shot,” Lee said.
The responding officer was reportedly wearing a body camera, and the footage is being reviewed by investigators.
2. Large Groups Gathered to Protest Toney’s Death
Following his death, word spread around the community and about 100 people gathered at the apartment complex where he was pronounced dead. Some of those in the crowd engaged in anti-police and “Black Lives Matter” chants.
“It’s a lot of high emotion out here, a lot of mixed views on exactly what happened,” state Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, who was on the scene, told WAFB News. Marcelle spoke to the crowd who gathered in front of the apartment complex, saying she was trying to calm them down.
“As you see, the crowd is very anxious, emotions are running very high,” she said to the news outlet. “And, I’ve been trying to keep them as calm as possible.”
Louisiana State Police has a new superintendent, Col. Kevin Reeves. He was appointed to the position earlier this year on March 25 and weighed in on the officer-involved shooting to the community.
“Our message to the community is to trust us,” he said to WAFB. “Allow us to do a complete investigation and bear out what the facts may be. And, we’ll certainly give that to the public.”
3. Toney Was Previously Convicted of Child Abuse for Allowing His Daughter to Get Burned
In September 2014, Toney was accused of walking into his ex-girlfriend’s home and assaulting her. Baton Rouge police said in an arrest warrant that Toney entered through the unlocked side door of her home and was enraged because their daughter was scared of him. After entering, he allegedly grabbed his ex-girlfriend by the throat and threw her against the wall while he choked her. He was booked into Parish Prison on one count of home invasion, The Advocate reported in its police blotter.
In the years prior to that incident, Toney and his ex-girlfriend were arrested for bringing harm to their daughter, who was just 1-year old at the time.
The incident occurred on October 2, 2012, and responding officers said that Toney left their daughter sitting on a counter next to a hot stove, walking away. The girl ended up finding her way to the stove top and suffered third-degree burns to her arm, wrist and hand, and doctors found fractures in healing on her body. Over 15 percent of her body was reportedly found to be burned.
Toney and his ex-girlfriend were both arrested by officers, and he was initially sentenced to seven years in prison. However, the sentence was later suspended, and they were both were sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty to cruelty to a juvenile.
Toney’s five-year probation was revoked in April 2016 when he allegedly attacked the child and her mother,WBRZ 2 News reported.
Subsequent inmate records from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office indicate that Toney’s brother, Terrance Deon Toney, was arrested October 24 for possessing schedule I drugs and resisting an officer. Arrest records indicate that he’s being held on $4,000 bond at the jail.
4. Toney’s Death Was in the Same City Alton Sterling Was Killed by Officers
According to The Washington Post‘s database, which tracks fatal police-involved shootings in the United States, Toney is the 196th black person shot and killed by law enforcement officers in 2017. Last year, the database stated that there were 233 black people killed by officers.
Many of those deaths have spurred community-led protests. Last year, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot and killed by an officer outside of a Baton Rouge mini-market, where he was selling CDs. The incident was investigated by officials and the officers involved weren’t charged.
Toney’s death occurred less than three miles away from where Sterling was shot and killed.
Sterling’s death enraged many in the community, who said his death was unjust. Nightly protests, some which turned violent, were held in the days that followed in the area and also across the nation.
5. Toney’s Social Media Accounts Showed Him With His Daughter & Indicated He Was Religious
Toney’s Facebook profile indicates that he grew up in the Baton Rouge area and attended McKinley Senior High School and Broadmoore Senior High School. His profile also says he’s married and he at one time studied at Louisiana State University.
Toney has at least one child, a daughter named Kimani who was born February 23, 2012, a post to his Facebook page wishing her a happy birthday indicated.
Other posts to his Facebook profile include many tributes to friends who died in previous years, several inspirational quotes, and other verses that show he became active in his faith.