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Viewing Held For Officer Killed In Front Of Club

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Officer William Torbit
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Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — Hundreds paid their final respects to the city police officer shot to death allegedly by his colleagues.

Derek Valcourt has details on the service and the latest on the investigation.

William Torbit is being remembered as one of the best cops on the beat, but there are still a lot of questions about how he died.

Fellow officers are among the hundreds saying their last goodbyes to Torbit, 33.

“He was an officer and a gentleman and you could tell because the people in the neighborhood really respected him,” said Janice, a family friend.

The plainclothes officer was killed Jan. 9 as he was trying to break up a fight outside of the Select Lounge nightclub in downtown Baltimore.  Police say he was shot 20 times by his fellow officers who saw him with a gun and did not realize he was a cop.

Sean Gamble, 22, was also killed in the melee.  Four others were shot but survived.  In all, there were a total of 41 shots fired that night and police guns were the only weapons used.

“There’s nothing that I can think of to justify 41 shots being fired into a crowd,” said attorney A. Dwight Pettit.

Pettit says he’s been contacted by almost all of the victims in the shooting, including Torbit’s family.  He calls it a clear case of excessive police force.

“I have no faith in the internal investigation of the Baltimore City police force whatsoever,” Pettit said.  “What needs to take place is an immediate stand-down by the Baltimore City police department in favor of the state’s attorney’s office of Baltimore City and also I think in this particular case, there has been a violation of civil rights and that’s what gives the United States’ attorney’s office jurisdiction.”

The mayor has called for an independent investigation into what happened, but so far, no agency has been chosen to conduct that investigation.  City police say their own look into the case will take another week and a half.

The state’s attorney’s office refused to say if they would investigate the case, saying they would not comment on the police investigation.  Torbit will be laid to rest Wednesday.  Funeral services will be held at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

Funeral services for Gamble were held last week.

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