During a court status hearing on Thursday, May 24, D.C. Superior Court Judge Ann O’Reagan Keary denied a request by attorneys representing Officer Kenneth D. Furr that he be released or that the conditions of his bond be changed.
A trial has been scheduled to begin Oct. 15.
Furr, a 21-year veteran of the police force, has been held without bond since the time of his arrest on Aug. 26, 2011 on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. A D.C. police arrest affidavit says witnesses saw Furr climb on the hood of a stopped car occupied by five people near First and Pierce Streets, N.W., and fire several shots at the occupants through the windshield.
Two of the women and one of the men in the car suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds in the incident, the affidavit says. Police and the prosecutor in the case said later that the three could easily have been killed in the shooting.
On March 7, a D.C. Superior Court Grand Jury handed down a 9-count indictment against Furr, which includes six counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of assault with intent to kill while armed, and two counts of solicitation for prostitution.
The affidavit says the incident began when Furr allegedly solicited one of the women for sex at a nearby CVS drugstore and became angry when she refused the offer. During the incident her male friend intervened on her behalf. Furr later threatened the male friend with a gun when the two crossed paths outside the store, according to the affidavit.
The male friend and the other victims followed Furr in their car as Furr drove away from the store, saying they wanted to get his license number and report him to police, the affidavit says. It says Furr stopped his car and pulled out his gun when he noticed the other car was following him. The car driven by the male friend of the trans women then crashed into Furr’s car after the driver ducked for cover when he saw Furr brandishing the gun, says the affidavit.
It says Furr responded by climbing on the hood of the car occupied by the five victims and began firing his gun through the windshield. Police initially charged Furr with driving while intoxicated, saying they determined his blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. Authorities later dropped that charge.
At an earlier hearing, Furr’s attorney said Furr was acting in self-defense, saying he feared for his own safety after noticing that the individuals with whom he got into a verbal altercation at the drugstore were “stalking” him in their car.
Although the police affidavit says Furr solicited one of the two trans women for sex at the start of the incident, the indictment charges him with having “invited, enticed, offered, persuaded, and agreed with [the two women] …to engage in prostitution…”
Transgender activists who know the two trans victims have said the women were not engaging in prostitution and that Furr approached at least one of them for a sexual encounter.
The incident outraged LGBT activists, who said it came at a time when transgender women had been victims of assaults and violent hate crimes in a number of previous incidents.
“This indicates that the prosecutors are getting serious about our (LGBT community) complaints or that a reasonable plea agreement was refused,” said transgender activist Jeri Hughes in commenting on the grand jury charge against Furr of assault with intent to kill while armed.