Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Fighting for justice. The family of a Baltimore police officer gunned down by his own fellow officers say they are still waiting for answers nearly a year later.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the family’s fight for answers.
Family members of Officer William Torbit marched the streets handing out fliers Friday. They say their brother is gone but will not be forgotten.
Torbit’s family says all they want this holiday season is answers.
“It’s not going to be a holly, jolly Christmas,” Venus Torbit, sister of Officer William Torbit, said.
Last January, Torbit was mistaken for a gunman outside the Select Lounge. He was in plainclothes responding to a distress call. He was shot by fellow officers 20 times.
“I don’t understand what’s going on,” Brother John, a friend of the Torbit family, said. “For a man to be murdered like this. That many gunshots and he’s an officer, too!”
This summer, investigators released surveillance footage from one of the city’s crime cameras, showing the shooting as it happened.
Torbit tries to control the crowd when he’s punched and falls to the ground. People scatter as he fires his weapon killing 22-year old Sean Gamble. Then, officers fire on him.
“If it was a mistake, just tell us,” said Officer William Torbit’s sister Tiffany Clark. “Tell us something. Don’t let us go by another year without any answers.”
An independent review found the shooting was the result of inadequate training, a disorganized response, lack of leadership and failures in the investigation.
“Someone has got to be held accountable for the lack of training and supervision,” community activist Leo Burrough Jr. said.
The state’s attorney says no criminal charges will be filed in the case– a move that’s devastated this family.
“All the plaques that they want to give on behalf of my brother, the only plaque I would like to have is those people being penalized and prosecuted for the murder of my brother,” Venus Torbit said.
All of the officers who fired their weapons at Torbit refused to testify in front of an independent commission. However, that commission did find the shooting legally justified.
After Torbit’s shooting, the police department started requiring plainclothes officers to wear a police vest or jacket to identify themselves.