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City officer accused of misconduct is fired

City officer accused of misconduct is fired
Baltimore Police Officer Fabien Laronde, right, shown in this 2012 file photo with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, was fired Monday, according to sources familiar with the move. (Steve Ruark / BALTIMORE SUN)

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis has fired an officer with a long history of misconduct allegations, according to sources familiar with the move.

Officer Fabien Laronde, 40, has been the subject of multiple lawsuits for on-duty incidents. This misconduct allegation centered on an internal charge that Laronde had left a firearm within reach of a prisoner, according to the sources.

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An internal department panel recommended his termination two weeks ago. He was terminated on Monday, sources said.

Laronde said Monday he had been informed of the termination. In a text message he said that "leaks" by the Baltimore Police Department "should be exposed for what they are and their calculated agendas."

"Wait until all the facts come out," he added.

Laronde was suspended in October after an off-duty incident and was prohibited from entering the city courthouse after a separate incident in November. He has been accused of illegally strip-searching a man in a civil case the city settled for $155,000 and accosting a court clerk in another case in which a jury awarded $40,000 in damages.

Rochelle Ritchie, a spokeswoman for State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, said last month that prosecutors are analyzing the evidence in "each and every case" that's open and involves Laronde "to determine the viability of those cases."

Also last month, a group of more than 20 defense lawyers filed a motion in Baltimore Circuit Court seeking Laronde's internal affairs files, citing "a multitude of incidents that raise questions about his credibility," including allegations he omitted key information under oath.

Assistant public defender Deborah Levi, one of the attorneys leading the charge to gain access to Laronde's internal affairs file, commended Davis for firing the officer. She said the relationship between the Police Department and residents is "deeply fractured."

"Removing unbecoming officers is a vital step toward repairing that relationship," Levi said. "Everyone will benefit if the department continues to investigate and discipline officers who fail to police with dignity and respect."

Laronde, who has been with the department since 2001, earned more than $100,000 with overtime last year.

Calls to the police union were not returned Monday.

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