The Maryland Attorney General’s Office will consider public comments as part of a review of “in custody” death investigations conducted by the office of Dr. David Fowler, the longtime chief medical examiner of Maryland.
Attorney General Brian Frosh’s Office issued a statement Friday encouraging people to write in by June 7. Frosh’s office also announced staff had started to work with Gov. Larry Hogan’s office to coordinate the review.
“Our intent is to appoint a panel of independent subject matter experts to perform the audit, and at the conclusion of the review, to release a public report on its findings,” according to the statement.
Last month, the Attorney General’s Office said there should be a review of the death investigations during Fowler’s tenure. He retired in 2019 after 17 years as the state’s chief medical examiner. Questions about some of his investigations were raised after his testimony as an expert witness for the defense during the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. The officer was convicted of murder and manslaughter for killing George Floyd. Cellphone video of the murder captured the officer kneeling on Foyd’s neck.
Fowler testified that Floyd died of a sudden heart rhythm problem due to his heart disease while being restrained by police, contradicting several experts who said Floyd died due to a lack of oxygen.
His testimony prompted sharp criticism and the former medical examiner of D.C. circulated a petition calling for Fowler’s work to be reviewed.
A spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has said the agency is committed to transparency and will cooperate fully.
Members of the public who wish to participate should send their comments to OCMEaudit@oag.state.md.us or The Office of the Attorney General, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202.