BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Just hours after an independent review board released its report on the death of Detective Sean Suiter, former Baltimore City Police commissioner Kevin Davis is speaking out.
The review panel said the detective took his own life, but Davis is warning the public about the report.
In a one-hour interview today with C4 on WBAL Radio, Davis did not hold back.
He said the evidence reviewed as part of the report was old, recycled and he believes the death of Sean Suiter is still a homicide investigation.
“Readers beware, this report wants you to believe it’s suicide but it doesn’t add up,” Davis said.
“I think people need to press pause and if they think everything in that report is entirely accurate,” Davis said. “Some of the mistakes in it are glaring,”
Suiter was shot last November, the day before he was set to testify in a federal corruption case that involved fellow officers.
Grainy video from that day showed Suiter pacing, then running into an abandoned lot in West Baltimore before gunfire erupted.
The board found Suiter had blood on his shirt sleeve and performed a new test showing Suiter’s DNA residue on his service weapon that was used to kill him.
“It’s the facts that we found and that we discovered that brought us to the conclusion,” the IRB panel said.
In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Suiter’s wife said she’s not buying that theory.
My husband did not commit suicide,” Nicole Suiter said. “I will not go on allowing anyone to tarnish my husband’s name and ruin his legacy,”
Davis himself was criticized in the report.
On Thursday, he talked about the initial suspect description that was put out hours after Suiter died.
“I don’t know of any police chief or commissioner who wouldn’t have articulated that description. It was vague. African-American, male, black jacket, white stripe. Imagine, if you will, the response from the FOP if I didn’t release that description,” Davis said.
Davis also discussed putting the Harlem Park Community on lockdown and how he does not regret it.
“I have no regrets holding the crime scene. In fact, we didn’t find the bullet that killed Sean Suiter until the day after the autopsy. Five days after he was shot,” Davis said.
Davis pointed to Wednesday’s press conference when the IRB chairs paused when asked if they could guarantee that Suiter took his own life.
“There was a pause. It was a noticeable pause and I want to pause on that pause. That pause tells me that we’re not 100 percent sure,” Davis said.
He added that the board never interviewed Suiter’s wife or sergeant.
“If you’re going to talk about Sean Suiter’s state of mind, you have to speak to the people closest to him and the report doesn’t reflect that,” Davis said.
The former commissioner said we don’t know any more now than we knew months ago.
“I’ll be the first one to tell you that I still think suicide is a possibility. My argument is, your work isn’t complete,” Davis said. “I think the IRB requires folks to go through a great degree of intellectual and moral gymnastics to reach a conclusion of suicide. It was recycled, old evidence, it was a different perspective of evidence that had already been gathered but there was nothing new in there,”
The investigation into Suiter’s death is still active within the Baltimore City Police Department.
Davis said he does not believe the medical examiner has enough evidence with this new report to overturn the manner and cause.