Mayor, Commissioner Appoint Independent Panel For Investigation
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III announced the appointment of an independent board to review the police-involved shooting that occurred on Jan. 9, 2011, as well as related police policies and procedures. The incident resulted in the death of police officer William Torbit, Jr., and Sean Gamble, as well as the shooting of three other civilians and one police officer. The board is comprised of national law enforcement experts who will review the incident and recommend changes to policies and procedures to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
“I am grateful for the individuals who have agreed to join this review board to conduct a thorough and independent study of this tragic incident,” said Rawlings-Blake. “Their findings will help us better understand what happened that night and improve training for our officers.”
Members of the Independent Review Board:
• Mr. Darrel Stephens is on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in the Division of Public Safety Leadership and Executive Director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. He started his law enforcement career in the Kansas City, Mo. Police Department where he served as an officer, sergeant, and unit commander. He served as the Police Chief for Lawrence, Kansas, Largo, Fla., Newport News, Va., St. Petersburg, Fla., and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C. As Chief of Police, he has been nationally recognized for his contributions to problem oriented police strategies. Stephens served as the Executive Director of the Washington, D.C. based Police Executive Research Forum from 1986 – 1992 and in 2006, he also served as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
• Mr. Hubert Williams is the President of the Police Foundation, which assists police departments to increase community satisfaction by implementing community policing strategies. Mr. Williams served as Police Director for the Newark, N.J. Police Department, and was the youngest executive of a police department in the United States. In 1992, he was appointed by the Los Angeles Police Department to evaluate the police response to civil disorder in that city.
• Mr. James K. “CHIPS” Stewart is a Senior Fellow at CNA’s Institute for Public Research which provides research and analysis expertise on safety and security issues. Mr. Stewart served in the Oakland, Calif. Police Department, retiring as Commander of Criminal Investigations. After retirement, he served as the Director of the National Institute of Justice for two presidents. Mr. Stewart has participated in review boards and law enforcement analyses that have led to changes in policies, procedures and operations. He serves as an advisor to George Mason University, participates in National Academy of Science panels relating to Crime and Justice and provides services to the Department of Justice and its agencies.
• Mr. Stephen H. Sachs was a two-term Maryland Attorney General. He is also a former U.S. Attorney for Maryland. After leaving public life, he joined Wilmer Cutler Pickering specializing in criminal and civil litigation. In retirement, he collaborates with the Public Justice Center in pro bono on behalf of disadvantaged citizens.
• Dr. Cynthia Lum is a former Detective in the Baltimore City Police Department. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University, as well as Deputy Director of George Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy. Before joining the faculty at George Mason, Dr. Lum was an instructional professor for the U.S. State Department’s International Law Enforcement Academy.
“It is important for the Baltimore Police Department, the city of Baltimore and everyone affected by the incident to have an independent board review the investigation, policies and procedures.” said Bealefeld. “And, I am thankful that these national experts have agreed to serve as part of this board and I look forward to working with them.”
They will not begin this investigation until the police review is complete.