Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimore City police say threats are being made against the officers involved in an arrest that led to a man’s death. The medical examiner ruled it a homicide.
Those officers have been identified as Detective Gregg Boyd, Detective Michael Vodarick and Detective Todd Strohman.
Mike Hellgren has new reaction from the mayor and the police union.
The release of the autopsy report for Tony Anderson Sr. is drawing fire from the police union. Anderson died last month as officers placed him under arrest in a vacant lot at Biddle and Montford in East Baltimore.
The autopsy WJZ obtained ruled his death a homicide from blunt force trauma, contradicting an initial statement from police that he choked on drugs.
The head of the FOP says the release of that information this early is unheard of and hurts the investigation, possibly contaminating witnesses.
“Gregg Bernstein and the State’s Attorney’s Office is still reviewing the case and I think first, that was a mistake,” said Bob Cherry, FOP. “They were doing their job and in the end, they’re going to be vindicated.”
The FOP believes the officers acted within their training, but Anderson’s outraged family calls it police brutality.
“We do not have a problem with the Baltimore City Police Department. We have a problem with officers who take their job and think they’re above the law,” said Anderson’s sister, Nancy Harvey.
Family members say an officer grabbed Anderson from behind and slammed him to the ground head and neck-first.
The autopsy revealed Anderson had fractured ribs, a ruptured spleen and abrasions on his chest, shoulder, elbow and wrists. But the report notes, “examination of head and neck showed no evidence of injury.”
The mayor made her first comments on the case, praising how the new police commissioner has handled it.
“We expect in every encounter our police have with the public that it is done in a respectful and proper way,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
No one has been charged. Both Baltimore City Police and the State’s Attorney’s Office have open investigations.
The officers involved are on routine administrative leave.