“[Walker] was standing like he was kind of daring [Harvey] to come, like, come on.” “[Walker] made head nod, like come on.”
Our next piece of evidence from the Joseph Walker trial is the transcribed interview of a pair of witnesses, a married couple traveling together, who drove by the shooting scene. Their names have been redacted from this transcript, so because this transcript was attached as Exhibit G to the defense’s recent motion to dismiss the charges against Walker, I will refer to them as Mr. and Ms. G.
The interview is conducted by the Maryland State Police’s Lead Investigator on this case, Trooper First Class (TFC) Myles Roy, on June 13, 2013, five days after the incident on June 8.
Ms. G was driving their vehicle, which contained just herself and her husband. They were driving on Route 3 northbound to I-97, the same stretch of road on which Walker would shoot Harvey. TFC Myles asked them to describe what they saw as they approached the scene.
Walker Already Standing by Minivan When Harvey and Pidel Exit Honda
Ms. G: We saw two vehicles pulled to the side. We saw a gentleman in a minivan get out, cross his arms, and do like a head nod kid of thing. And then we saw two gentlemen in the car in front get out and start approaching the man at the minivan.
TFC Roy: Then you said there were two people in that Honda.
Ms. G: I actually saw them outside the car. I saw one approaching from the passenger’s side, and I saw one approaching from the driver’s side. And they are both walking towards the minivan, the gentleman and the minivan.
And near the end of the transcript:
Mr. G: The little car [Harvey’s Honda], they were like – he was shutting the door and started making his way towards the minivan.
That, then, was the start of their observation of the conflict. They passed when Harvey and Pidel were not yet halfway to the minivan, and Mr. G observed a few moments longer through his rearview mirror.
TFC Roy: Where were they in reference to the actual vehicle? Like how far away from the vehicle did you see them get?
Ms. G: I saw them get – they were not halfway distance between their car and the minivan when I passed them.
Walker “Very Large,” Harvey “Stocky,” Pidel Smaller
TFC Roy: Okay. Can you describe that man that was next to the van?
Ms. G: Very large African American man, looked like he was bald. Very large, 6’ 5”, 6’ 6”, somewhere around there probably.
Ms. G: The gentleman, the driver, looked to be heavyset to me. And I believe he was wearing shorts. And so – I remember him. And I remember the passenger gentleman to look smaller in statute than the gentleman that was driving.
No Weapons Were Observed
TFC Roy: Did you happen to see if they had anything in their hands, any kind of weapons or anything like that?
Ms. G: I saw their hands, kind of that stocky, blown-up chest walk from the driver, but I didn’t see anything in his hands.
TFC Roy: Okay. How about the driver of the van?
Ms. G: I did not see anything in his hands. I
TFC Roy: Sir, did you see anything in either of their hands?
Mr. G: No. I didn’t see anybody having any weapons.
Mr. G: Walker Appeared to Goad Harvey, and Harvey Eager to Confront
They did, however, described Walker as presenting a demeanor they perceived as goading Harvey and Pidel to approach. This is vastly different than Walker’s recounting at the scene that he was inspecting his tires and did not observe Harvey and Pidel until they were within 10 feet of him at his minivan.
Mr. G: Like she said, he was standing like, kind of like to me, in my point of view, he was like kind of daring him to come, you know, like you say, you know, come on, you know.
TFC Roy: And who are you talking about?
Mr. G: I’m talking about the guy in the minivan. He was standing there asking them to come on. They were both like the same distance apart, maybe not even 10, 15 feet away from the trunk of their car heading towards him. The driver [Harvey], a stocky, big guy, it looked like his hands were clenched and like in a pissed-off manner, was heading towards him, like he wanted to confront them.
Mr. G: And, you know, after we passed him up, I looked in my rearview mirror. And it looked like the black guy leaned over, opened his door, and reached in for something. And I don’t know what it was or anything. He didn’t pull out anything by the time we passed.
Ms. G: Walker Made “Head Nod, Like Come On”
TFC Roy: Did you hear anything?
Mr. G: Not at all.
Ms. G: And I didn’t see any lips moving, like somebody – like they were exchanging anything.
TFC Roy: No hand gestures?
Ms. G: I just saw the head nod, like come on.
TFC Roy: And that was from the guy with the van?
Ms. G: Yes, sir. And, of course, I’m inferring what he was thinking. You know, he may have been – maybe that’s a nervous tic that he has. I’m just inferring that’s what it looked like to me. That he was like come on.
Witnesses Describe Walker as “Aggressive” and Harvey as “Ready to Rumble”
Mr. G: I didn’t think it would have been somebody dying, or, you know, or him pulling out a gun.
TFC Roy: But did you think it may escalate to a fight or something like that?
Mr. G: Yeah, because he came – he came with an aggressive attitude. And, you know, the guy who was walking towards the minivan, he was like ready to rumble. And – and obviously, the other guy was nudging him on, you know. He was like come on. So I – I thought they were just – if it was a fist fight, that happens all the time, you know.
Harvey Closed on Walker at a Fast Walk, Not a Run
TFC Roy: Did you get a sense of haw fast they were traveling towards the van?
Ms. G: I didn’t feel like they were traveling that fast. They surely weren’t running.
Mr. G: I though it was like he wanted to get there, you know, kind of. He looked like he was, you know, ready to go over there and see what’s going on.
TFC Roy: But he wasn’t like running or sprinting.
Mr. G: No.
TFC Roy: Would you describe like a faster paced walk or –
Mr. G: Yeah.
TFC Roy: And then was that both of them?
Mr. G: In the beginning? Yeah.
TFC Roy: Looking in the rearview mirror, did you ever seem them break apart or one person slow down or –
Mr. G: No.
Walker Not Seen to Display Any Indicia of LEO Status
TFC Roy: You saw the gentleman standing next to the van – obviously it’s now known that he was a police officer – did you see any kind of identification—
MS. G: No, sir.
Mr. G: No.
TFC Roy: — that would have led for you to believe that he was a police officer, whether he was holding a badge or wearing a badge? Or did you see a gun holster –
Ms. G: No, sir.
TFC Roy: — any kind of police gear or –
Mrs. G: No, sir.
Mr. G: Not at all.
And that’s it for the substantive part of the transcript. Here’s the whole thing, for your viewing pleasure:
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