BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than a week after the death of a cyclist in Baltimore, no charges have been filed against the driver. The Episcopal church has identified her as a high-ranking bishop, who initially left the scene.
Investigator Mike Hellgren has more on where the case is heading now.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: Over 1.4K New Cases Reported, 11 New Deaths
The church is now calling clergy together to discuss the tragedy as demands for justice in the case grow louder.
The leader of Maryland’s Episcopal church will meet with clergy Tuesday in Frederick County, where they will discuss the crisis involving their second in command, Bishop Heather Cook, in private.
The church confirms Cook was behind the wheel on December 27, when cyclist Tom Palermo was hit and killed. They also say she left the scene for 20 minutes.
Many in the cycling community are outraged. One Facebook group wrote, “Still no charges—we will not be deterred, justice must be sought.”
But legal analyst Andrew Levy stresses caution is a good thing.
“What is going on is police and prosecutors making sure they have all relevant information before making a decision on charges. They should be congratulated rather than criticized,” Levy said.
He also says the change in leadership at the state’s attorney’s office could cause a delay, as Gregg Bernstein may let his successor make the high-profile decision.READ MORE: Crews On Scene Of Columbia House Fire
Both Bishop Cook and her attorney have declined to speak publicly about the case.
Almost four years ago, law enforcement faced criticism after an elderly driver was only given traffic citations for the death of a cyclist and Johns Hopkins student in Charles Village. The prosecutor said there was no gross negligence involved, like drinking or excessive speed.
“There needs to be something else in order for there to be criminal offense,” Levy said.
The church has asked for prayer for Bishop Cook and Palermo’s family. Last week, hundreds of cyclists turned out to memorialize him.
“We’re such a small family and this huge outpouring of support is amazing to me,” said one.
Police call the investigation intricate and complex, and have yet to even utter the bishop’s name in their only public statement.
The church put Bishop on administrative leave because the case could result in criminal charges.MORE NEWS: 26-Year-Old Man Shot In The Leg In West Baltimore
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