A Baltimore police officer was executed under extremely suspicious circumstances, the day before he was set to testify against eight criminal cops.
Detective Sean Suiter, from the Baltimore City Police Department, was shot and killed while on duty last week and there have been no leads on any suspects. However, in the week since his death, new details about the case have brought more questions than answers.
It turns out, Suiter was set to testify against other police officers in a grand jury investigation the day after he was shot, according to Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.
“I am now aware of Detective Suiter’s pending federal grand jury testimony surrounding an incident with BPD police officers who are federally indicted in March of this year. Detective Suiter was not the target of any ongoing criminal investigation,” Commissioner Davis said told reporters Wednesday.
According to the police report, Suiter and his partner were looking for a witness from an old case when they allegedly noticed a “person acting suspiciously,” and at some point, an altercation broke out in which the suspect took Suiter’s own gun and shot him in the head. Instead of chasing after the suspect or shooting back, the partner ran away and called 911.
“While he was conducting his follow-up investigation, he observed a man engaged in suspicious behaviors. Our 18-year homicide veteran approached this man to engage him in conversation. At some point in time thereafter, our 18-year homicide veteran was shot in the head. There was another Baltimore police detective with him in that vicinity. That detective came to his aid immediately and we got him to the best hospital in the world,” Davis said.
“Upon the sound of gunfire, the partner sought cover across the street and immediately called 911. We know this because it is captured on private surveillance video that we have recovered,” he added.
The only description that the partner gave was that it was a black man in a black hoodie with a white stripe on it. Swarms of police were instantly on the scene, with a helicopter circling overhead and somehow the suspect managed to get away. The police then put half of the city on lockdown for over four days, sparking national controversy and fears of martial law.
Baltimore was turned into an “open-air prison,” local publications reported, and the ACLU of Maryland released a statement at the time saying that they were “troubled by reports that some persons entering or leaving the area have been subject to pat-down searches and that non-residents have been barred from entering the area”.
“While the search for a killer is, of course, a high priority for the police, the limits on lawful police behavior do not disappear even when engaged in that pursuit. And at least one federal appellate court has said that a similar police cordon and checkpoint system was unconstitutional. The residents of Baltimore, and, in particular, the residents of the affected community, deserve a clear explanation from the City as to why this unprecedented action has been taken, what rules are being enforced, and why it is lawful. The need to secure a crime scene from contamination to preserve evidence does not, on its face, explain the wide area to which access has been restricted for days after the incident. On-the-ground information is scarce to those outside the cordon because access to residents, including by the media, has also been restricted,” the statement read.
Even after placing the city on lockdown for four days they still have no leads, and still no further details on why Suiter even came into contact with this person in the first place.
The case that Suiter was supposed to testify in involves eight Baltimore cops with the city’s elite gun task force, who are accused of shaking down citizens and conspiring with drug dealers.
It is not clear how many other witnesses are involved in this case, how important of a witness Suiter was, or how his death will affect the outcome of the trial, but the details surrounding his murder are extremely suspicious considering how close it was to his testimony.
The fact that the date of the shooting was so close to the date of the testimony is highly suspicious and cause for concern, and police have released very few details about how this took place.
NBC local affiliate WBALTV has more in the video report below: