Baltimore leaders call on police to turn Det. Sean Suiter investigation over to FBI

Two Baltimore City leaders are calling for federal officials to take over the investigation into the killing of Det. Sean Suiter.

Council President Bernard “Jack” Young and Councilman Brandon Scott on Thursday called on the Suiter case to be turned over to the FBI.


“An independently conducted investigation would be the quickest way to provide the public and those who loved Det. Suiter with the answers they rightly deserve,” Young and Scott wrote in a letter to Davis.

They also said it would allow members of the Baltimore homicide unit, which is investigating the case, “the chance to properly mourn their fallen comrade.”

Suiter, a decorated 18-year veteran, was killed in an alley on Nov. 15, and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said federal authorities disclosed to him that Suiter was killed one day before he was scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the gun task force. Davis said he was told Suiter was not a target of the grand jury, and there was no evidence to suggest Suiter was set up or that his killing was related to his scheduled testimony.

New charges have been filed by an indicted member of the Baltimore Police gun task force, alleging that in 2010 he planted drugs after a high-speed chase that ended with a death and told Det. Sean Suiter to search the car.

Suiter’s death remains unsolved, despite a $215,000 reward. For now, it is the only line-of-duty killing in the agency’s history that is unsolved, with suspects apprehended on the scene or quickly identified through tips in previous cases.

Mayor Catherine Pugh said the Baltimore police department has already asked the FBI to get involved in the homicide investigation.

“The FBI is engaged in this,” she said. “The police department has already turned over information to the FBI. There is a process.”

Pugh said Young and Scott should focus instead on passing laws that can curb the violence, such as her proposed one-year mandatory jail sentence for first-time gun offenders – a bill the council gutted.

“We have illegal guns on the streets of our city. Pass the laws that would affect the illegal guns,” she said. “I wish legislative folks would focus on their legislative responsibility. Everybody wants to jump out in front of this.”


Asked which agency is leading the investigation, Pugh said both law enforcement forces were working on it. “It’s a collaborative effort,” she said.

She added that she was talking to Suiter’s family about the administration’s plans.

Young said the council’s letter was not about upstaging the mayor.

“This is not about the mayor,” he said. “This is about making sure the public clearly understands we’re asking the FBI to take the lead on this so our homicide detectives who are mourning can take time to do that. I have full faith in the mayor. Let the FBI take the lead in the case and give those homicide detectives a chance to mourn. I think that’s appropriate and I stand by that.”

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said he planned to hold a news conference about the matter on Friday.