BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Police Department officials released additional information Thursday on the independent panel reviewing the murder of Detective Sean Suiter.
Baltimore City Police took a major step to try to solve the death of one of their own by naming seven policing experts, including two former city detectives, to independently investigate the death of Suiter, who was shot in the head 149 days ago.
“The community wants the same answers as we want internally, so we’re going to be transparent. We’re going to provide information,” Baltimore City Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said.
Suiter was killed with his service weapon the day before he was set to testify in front of a grand jury in a police corruption case in November 2017. He was investigating a murder in the Harlem Park neighborhood at the time of the shooting. He died the next day.
There was no DNA other than his own found at the scene, and no sign of a vaguely described suspect.
Members of the Virginia-based consulting company CNA will chair the panel.
“The evidence is what the evidence is. And what we’re trying to take a look at is to see whether with fresh eyes that there’s any assistance that we can provide,” said James “Chips” Stewart, Suiter investigation chair and managing director for justice programs at CNA.
CNA also assisted police in another case: the death of Officer William Torbitt. He was in plain clothes when fellow officers opened fire on him during an incident outside a nightclub seven years ago.
“We’ve helped lots of agencies improve and save lives,” Stewart said.
Another member of the panel is retired Detective Gary Childs, who recently headed the cold case investigation into the murder of a nun spotlighted in “The Keepers” documentary.
Also, Rick Fuentes headed the New Jersey State Police under then-Gov. Chris Christie.
“It’s still heavy in the heart of all of us in the Baltimore City Police Department,” De Sousa said.
The commissioner spoke about how he had met several times with Suiter’s widow.
This investigation is set to last about six months. The board will not have subpoena power, but it can call witnesses.
The review of Suiter’s death will cost taxpayers $150,000.