Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced that she has chosen New Orleans police superintendent Michael Harrison to lead the city’s police department.
In January of last year, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced she was firing city police Commissioner Kevin Davis.
Though Davis’s successor, Darryl D. De Sousa, sailed through his confirmation process, after just months on the job he resigned amid charges he failed to file his tax returns.
In contrast to De Sousa, Pugh’s next pick for top cop faced a bumpier road. Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald was met with skepticism over his record in Texas and elsewhere.
On Monday, Fitzgerald withdrew from consideration after his 13-year-old suffered a medical emergency that require two rounds of brain surgery. Then the next day, Pugh announced that she was nominating New Orleans police superintendent Michael Harrison as Baltimore’s top cop.
But nearly a year after Davis’s firing, the city still lacks a permanent police chief. Below, a look at how we got here.
Jan. 19: Mayor Catherine Pugh fired Baltimore’s top cop Kevin Davis, saying she had grown “impatient” his inability to stem the historic pace of killings in the city. The previous year had just ended with a 343 homicides, a per-capital record.
Pugh named Deputy Commissioner Darryl D. De Sousa, the top commander in the Police Department’s patrol bureau, as Davis’ replacement.
Feb. 26: De Sousa, a career officer, breezed through the confirmation process after being nominated. The Baltimore City Council confirmed De Sousa as Baltimore’s new police commissioner with a 14-1 vote.
May 10: Federal prosecutors charged De Sousa with three misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal taxes. Mayor Pugh initially expressed “full confidence” in De Sousa.
May 15: De Sousa resigned amid revelations that federal prosecutors were probing deeper into his past. Pugh announced a national search for his replacement and appointed Deputy Commissioner Gary Tuggle as interim commissioner.
Oct. 19: A Baltimore-based Twitter account posted a photo of Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald with the caption: “The mayor's pick for Baltimore's next commissioner #JoelFitzgerald.”
Asked if Fitzgerald was leaving for Baltimore, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price told a reporter: "It appears he has taken the police chief spot in Baltimore. He's done a good job in Fort Worth, and I wish him the best in this new position."
Jan. 5: At one city council hearing, residents expressed their frustrations over the selection process. Some urged the city council to reject the nomination and force the mayor to start the selection process over.