BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a request to have the Baltimore Police Department release body cam footage of the Det. Sean Suiter investigation, where officers blocked off a section of the Harlem Park neighborhood for several days.
According to authorities, Det. Suiter was fatally shot with his own weapon on Nov. 15, prompting detectives to cordon a portion of the West Baltimore neighborhood for seven days, requiring residents to show ID to get into their homes.
The shooting happened in the 900 Block of Bennett Place while the detective was investigating a 2016 murder in the neighborhood with a partner.
In a press release sent to WJZ Thursday, the ACLU says:
“The public has a right to see body camera footage of police interacting with civilians during the unprecedented cordon in Harlem Park,” said David Rocah, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU. “The publicly stated rationale for the cordon, the need to preserve a crime scene, seems inconsistent with both the scope and duration of the cordon, and with the other police actions that were taken, such as searches, demanding identification, and barring non-residents. In those circumstances, there is a need for greater transparency, which is precisely why we have body cameras in the first place.”
The ACLU have requested the following records:
- All body worn camera footage recorded by officers working the perimeter of the cordon involving an interaction with a civilian;
- All BWC footage involving police escorting civilians to or from the police cordon;
- All BWC footage involving the first 10 minutes of searches of occupied dwellings within the police cordon (not footage of searches of abandoned or vacant buildings);
- Any logs of BWC footage recorded by officers working the perimeter of the cordon showing the number of times the BWC was activated, and the duration of the recording.
A Baltimore Police spokesperson tells WJZ the department is reviewing the request.
No suspect has been named in Det. Suiter’s murder, and a $215,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.