Man charged in activist’s death after gun linked to crime

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police have charged a man in the killing in the killing of well-known anti-violence activist Dante Barksdale after a gun found during his arrest in Anne Arundel County was linked to the crime, according to charging documents.

Members of the Warrant Task Force and the U.S. Marshals arrested Garrick L. Powell Jr., 28, at a home in Baltimore on Thursday, police said in a news release. Powell was charged with first-degree murder and numerous other offenses and is being held without bond, according to online court records. No attorney is listed for Powell in those records.

Authorities were already seeking Powell on a warrant for absconding from home monitoring after his release on an Anne Arundel County gun charge.

The Baltimore Sun reports that charging documents state the gun Powell was arrested with in the county was linked to the Barksdale shooting in January. Investigators further identified him through witnesses and cellphone location data.

Officials did not state a motive, but said the killing was not random. The men were seen talking before Powell allegedly shot Barksdale and fled, detectives wrote in charging documents. A defense attorney representing Powell in the Anne Arundel County case declined to comment.

Barksdale, beloved leader of the Safe Streets anti-violence program, had served time in prison. He was also the nephew of Nathan Barksdale, whose crimes and run-ins with police inspired characters and story lines in the hit HBO series “The Wire.”

Safe Streets outreach workers mediate disputes in an effort to prevent violence. They also lead public education campaigns and work closely with faith-based organizers and community members, but not with police, to steer young people away from violence.