Community Rallies For Answers After Fatal Club Shooting
BALTIMORE (WJZ)–A city police officer and a semi-pro football player died in a hail of gunfire outside a local club. All the bullets came from the police officers. Now the community is demanding answers.
Mike Schuh explains that some are calling for drastic changes.
A group of concerned community members went as far as saying that the police commissioner and the mayor should be concerned about keeping their jobs if this investigation is not handled correctly.
They’re angry, and they’re coming together to ask for justice for two men killed in front of the Select Lounge this past weekend: Sean Gamble, 22, a former pro athlete and Officer William Torbitt, 33, who was on duty in plainclothes when shots were fired.
There were 41 shots fired by five officers, including Torbitt.
One group is asking for an FBI investigation.
“I think that we have to use the might and the power of the federal government so that we can expedite what really took place here and have justice for all parties involved,” said Darren Muhammad, Coalition for Concerned Citizens.
At his funeral Thursday, Gamble’s family asked for the same thing.
“We know it’s a mistake, and mistakes happen. We know that what happened to Sean wasn’t meant to be, but there’s got to be some kind of recourse for the actions taken,” said his uncle, Minister Jacob McNeill.
Torbitt’s family is speaking out for the first time. They are equally heartbroken and equally skeptical of how city police are looking into the shooting.
“This is murder, and I’m saying it will not go unserved and justice will be served,” said Torbitt’s cousin.
“I don’t like the fact that he’s being the fall guy. He’s being implicated in Gamble’s murder, which I don’t believe in my heart that that is true. I want the truth to come out,” said Torbitt’s aunt, Maria Crow-Eel.
The mayor is looking for an independent agency to review the case.
This community of mainly men says it’s tired of waiting for answers.
“You’ve got to be the mayor for all the citizens of Baltimore,” Muhammad said.
The coalition of these community members invited the mayor, commissioner and all City Council members to the gathering—only Councilman Carl Stokes showed up. The mayor’s office reports that it will soon announce which agency will be reviewing this case.
Also, because of this shooting, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has asked all plainclothes officers to wear uniforms until further notice.