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Update sought in Harris' slaying

The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Councilwoman Helen L. Holton will introduce a resolution tomorrow calling for the city police commissioner to update the council on the homicide investigation into the death of her former colleague, Kenneth N. Harris Sr.

Holton said she does not expect the police commissioner to divulge information that would jeopardize the investigation, but she said she believes the city Police Department should be in closer contact with the council about developments.

Harris was gunned down outside the New Haven Lounge, a popular jazz club, about 1 a.m. Sept. 20. Police are looking for three men who they believe fired weapons at the former councilman and then robbed the club. They believe the trio are responsible for at least two other unsolved robberies in the Northwood Plaza shopping center.

"If Ken Harris were alive today and it had been another one of my colleagues who was murdered, I believe he would be in the forefront, trying to find out what is going on," Holton said. The two served on the council together and were close friends.

She said Harris' wife, Annette, plans to attend tomorrow evening's council hearing.

Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the Police Department, said the commissioner will attend the hearing and added that the commander of the department's homicide unit, Maj. Terrence P. McLarney, might speak to council members.

"I applaud the City Council for making an effort to keep it in the public eye," Clifford said. "We'll need the community's help to solve it." He added that murder investigations are complicated. "They don't always get solved in an hour," Clifford said.

Others on the council cautioned that the Harris case should not merit more of the council's attention than any other unsolved homicides in the city.

Councilman Bernard C. "Jack" Young, who was also close to Harris, said he'd rather have the commissioner speak generally about the city's clearance rate for homicides and stressed that members of the community need to step forward and share information.

About the Harris case, he said: "We want [the suspects] caught and we want the book thrown at them."

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