BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The FBI has rejected the Baltimore City Police request to take over the investigation into the murder of Detective Sean Suiter, who was shot to death with his own weapon six weeks ago.
Stephen Richardson, the Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, wrote a letter to commissioner Kevin Davis–which WJZ obtained– explaining his decision:
“…No information has been developed to indicate Detective Suiter’s death was directly connected to an FBI investigation. For this reason, we believe it prudent for your office to continue as the lead in this investigation… If we develop information that changes our assessment of the investigation, we will, of course, take appropriate action.”
Richardson said the FBI will support and continue to assist in the BPD investigation.
Suiter died the day before his scheduled testimony in a police corruption investigation. He was set to testify in the case of Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, who faces accusations of planting drugs on suspects and robbing citizens. Davis says the FBI’s letter shows Suiter was not killed because of that testimony.
“Everybody seems to think there’s corruption involved in this, and by corruption, I mean another police officer was involved in Sean Suiter’s death. If the FBI thought that was the case, they would have taken this case,” Davis said.
The commissioner told WJZ previously he felt federal authorities were not telling the department all they knew about the federal police corruption investigation that has ensnared nine officers, which is what lead to Davis’ request to the FBI on December 1.
“What we have left is a murder committed by a yet-to-be-identified perpetrator,” Davis told WJZ. “Tips are coming in. Have they lead to a person of interest? They have not.”
Commissioner Davis says he may consider bringing in an outside expert to look into the case.
Police have looked into the possibility Suiter committed suicide, but Davis said bluntly, “There’s zero evidence to support that theory. Zero.”
The FBI’s decision follows a visit by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Baltimore earlier this month. Sessions pledged cooperation and said the FBI would take a serious look at the request to handle the investigation.
Suiter was shot on November 15 during what police have described as a brief but violent struggle. His partner was in the area at the time, but the two had split up when Suiter went to investigate a person police said was acting “suspiciously.” The commissioner says he may release evidence to the public including the detective’s final radio transmission. Police have only described the killer as wearing a dark jacket with a white stripe.
Commissioner Davis said he notified Suiter’s widow of the FBI’s decision and his department will continue as the lead investigators in the case.
“I wish I had the final chapter,” Davis said. “We never stopped investigating this case. It is not a cold case. It has never been a cold case.”