We can’t stress enough about the emotional challenges and anguish that comes with donning the blue day in and day out. Sadly, this case coming from Baltimore, Maryland is another example of the burden officers carry every day while acting seemingly normal.
After nearly 2 years under various investigations, A Maryland State Police review into the death of Baltimore police Detective Sean Suiter is finished, and city police have closed the investigation after they determined that it was a suicide.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison released a statement Wednesday about the conclusion.
“I have received the Maryland State Police report regarding their review of the investigation into Det. Sean Suiter’s death. There is nothing in the report to suggest that Det. Suiter’s death was anything other than a suicide, nor was there any suggestion that the case should be re-investigated or continued. Given that, and given similar findings by last year’s independent review board, BPD’s investigation into Det. Suiter’s death is now closed. Regardless of the circumstances, Det. Suiter’s death was a tragedy and we will continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers. Finally, I want to thank Supt. William Pallozzi and every member of the state police who worked on the report for their commitment to bringing closure in this case.”
The Maryland State Police released a statement as well on Wednesday night about their report and the findings. In short, the state police had looked into the initial investigation that was handled by the Baltimore Police Department following the death of Detective Sean Suiter. They concluded that after their own review of the investigation and reports generated by the BPD that “the Baltimore Police Department Homicide Unit conducted an exhaustive investigation into the death of Detective Sean Suiter.”
State police announced in June that its homicide detectives would provide an investigative review of materials related to the Suiter case. However, not all are convinced that this was a clear-cut case of suicide. Suiter’s family said the finding is insulting, and their fight for justice isn’t over.
Nicole Suiter, the widow of Sean Suiter, said the following after the conclusion was announced: “I just want to know how many times you’re going to kill my husband? This is an embarrassment to our family, to his friends. We ready for war.”
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Damira Suiter, the daughter of the now deceased detective, added: “You put a rubber stamp on the same information that you already had. There was nothing new done.”
Maryland State Police did not conduct an independent investigation, and Nicole Suiter said she wasn’t interviewed by state investigators.
“I would like for them to question me about my husband, his state of mind when he left out that morning — that whole week, we just came from vacation. My husband was in good spirits and none of this stuff was bothering him.”
The family’s lawyer, Jeremy Eldridge, is glad that the investigation is closed, seeing that he and the family will be able to do their own digging into the handling of the case.
“Starting tomorrow, we’re going to be asking for every document, every interview, every recording, every single solitary piece of paper that they generated and they better damn well give it to us, because if you’re going to hide behind the investigation being closed, you better turn over the goods,” Eldridge said.
The cause for the family’s speculation on the surrounding events isn’t unwarranted either, as there some unique circumstances revolving around the detective’s death. Suiter was found shot in the head on November 15, 2017, in a vacant lot on Bennett Place in west Baltimore. Suiter was investigating a homicide and had been set to testify before a federal grand jury in the Gun Trace Task Force corruption case the day after his death.
After reading a report from Maryland state police, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said there is nothing to suggest the 2017 death of Detective Sean Suiter is anything but a suicide. https://t.co/onwvcbX6Rw
— WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5 (@wbalradio) November 7, 2019
The details of the case that were revealed stated that Suiter was shot with his own gun and that the gun was found under his body. The report also claimed that there was no other traceable DNA evidence to be found at the scene. Later on, during the investigation, the medical examiner ruled Suiter’s death a homicide and an independent review concluded his death was a suicide as well.
Two weeks after Suiter’s death, in December 2017, then-Commissioner Kevin Davis asked the FBI to take over the investigation. The FBI declined to do so. Then-Mayor Catherine Pugh fired Davis roughly a month after the request of the FBI’s assistance, with Pugh claiming that Davis was let go due to crime increasing in the city. Darryl De Sousa assumed the top-cop position thereafter, and named an independent review board to review the case of Suiter’s death in April 2018.
Five months later, the Independent Review Board concluded Suiter killed himself. The report also accused Davis of misleading the public.
“Suiter was killed with his own service weapon in a vacant lot just west of 959 Bennett Place on Nov. 15, 2017,” the board’s report concluded.
However, this report that claims the aforementioned conclusion and allegation of Davis misleading the public was not obtained by a local news crew, WBAL-TV 11, when they had requested to review the report and have a chance to ask some questions about it. The BPD also refused to release any details on any of their reports to WBAL-TV 11 when called and emailed, citing the case as now being “classified”.
In May, family of Detective Suiter told me they believed his death was an “inside job.” Shortly after this, MPD opened up an investigation, which has now been closed. BPD says: “there’s nothing to suggest his death was anything other than a suicide.” @wjz https://t.co/KjRzRT5JLH
— Rick Ritter (@RickRitterWJZ) November 6, 2019
While they say the investigation has been completed, there still are quite a few questions left hanging. Hopefully, for the sake of the family of the deceased officer, they’ll be able to get the answers that they’re looking for.
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