Annapolis police have arrested four young people they believe were involved in robberies that spurred questions over officers taking photos of possible suspects.
On Thursday, 18-year-old Demarcus Gross turned himself in to police in connection with robberies July 21 on Franklin Street in the Clay Street neighborhood. On Aug. 2, police arrested three others in connection with the robbery: 20-year-old Albert Gross, a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy.
Late at night July 21, two men walking separately on Franklin Street were jumped and robbed by a group of five to eight young men.
As police officers and detectives investigated the robberies, they photographed young black males — including minors — which rankled some residents of the Clay Street community. A handful spoke out at a city council meeting, saying that photographing minors on the street was improper.
Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop defended the practice, saying it was misleading for anyone to imply that his officers were "stopping anyone indiscriminately."
The ACLU of Maryland took to Facebook to call the practice racial profiling because officers were following a "vague suspect description" of African-American males. Annapolis police now say officers were working with more detailed descriptions that weren't released publicly at the time. Officers also had video surveillance images, said Cpl. Amy Miguez, a department spokeswoman.
"We had good descriptions, and that's what the officers were looking at," Miguez said.
At least two of the young men arrested were among those photographed during the investigation, Miguez said.
Demarcus Gross of the 100 block of Clay St. was charged with robbery, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Albert Gross, also of the 100 block of Clay St., was charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of theft, first-degree assault and second-degree assault. Neither has an attorney listed in court records.
The 14-year-old boy and the 12-year-old boy were charged as juveniles with robbery. Their names were not released because of their ages.
More arrests are possible, Miguez said.
"We're still investigating. There are definitely more in the group. It's also a question of, with a group that large, which of the kids participated in what way with the robbery," she said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Deborah Sauriol-Gibris at 410-268-9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun