BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Major changes for Baltimore City Police following the death of one of their own. Officer William Torbit was killed by fellow officers when he was mistaken for a gunman outside a nightclub.
Monique Griego has more on department-wide reforms to prevent another tragedy.
It was just last month the city named a street for Police Officer William Torbit. Now, police are taking steps to make sure no officer dies the way he did.
Crime camera footage captured the chaos outside Select Lounge. Officer Torbit— in plainclothes– was attacked by the crowd and shot 22-year-old Sean Gamble. Then, fellow officers opened fire on him. Torbit was hit 20 times.
Now, Baltimore Police have issued new reforms to prevent another tragedy.
“It’s a profound change for the better in working to make sure that the incident that took place on Jan. 9 of last year will never ever happen again in the history of this department,” said Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Baltimore City Police Department.
The changes include better training and preventing plainclothes officers from responding to crowd control situations.
The department will also bring together a team of officers from various units to investigate police-involved shootings.
Torbit’s family says the changes are a step in the right direction. But they still have questions.
“It will make a difference for Baltimore. But will it make a difference for our family as far as understanding why it happened the way it did? No, it won’t make a difference,” Patricia Clark, Torbit’s sister, said in an interview on Feb. 3.
Gamble’s family tells WJZ they are pleased that the city police department has finally recognized that major changes must be made to address the many police failures that led to his death.
Police will also lobby to license entertainment venues and keep track of violence inside nightclubs.
A lawyer for Select Lounge tells WJZ he fears this could happen again. He says police need constitutional law, use of force and sensitivity training.
The new reforms were recommended by an independent commission appointed by the mayor.