The Anne Arundel County NAACP is calling for an independent investigation into an Annapolis police sergeant being sued a second time for changing the race of man named in an arrest warrant.
In a letter Wednesday to Mayor Gavin Buckley, county NAACP President Jacqueline Boone Allsup said if the claims against Sgt. Christopher Kintop are proven to be true, they “pose a significant threat to the civil rights of all Anne Arundel County residents.”
James E. Bailey of Edgewater is suing Kintop and the city for the second time, claiming the officer deliberately did not correct a warrant that led to his mistaken arrest in 2010. A judge ruled in 2014 that Kintop incorrectly changed the race from black to white to match Bailey after he was arrested.
Bailey was arrested a second time in April 2017 while driving on the Bay Bridge. Despite the judge’s ruling, the warrant still included some of Bailey’s personal information, according to the lawsuit.
“Due to the nature and character of the allegations against Sergeant Kintop, the NAACP requests written assurances from you and the City Council that the Annapolis Police Department is not engaged in racial profiling,” Allsup wrote.
In a statement released Thursday to The Capital, city officials said Bailey’s information was left in the warrant by mistake, calling it a “clerical error” committed by someone other than Kintop.
“In response to a specific request by Ms. Allsup, the City of Annapolis unequivocally and categorically assures Ms. Allsup that it does not engage in racial profiling,” wrote Susy Smith, chief of staff for Buckley.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter also requested Kintop's policing powers be suspended pending the results of the investigation. Allsup could not be reached for comment.
The warrant was written in 2007 after a woman claimed to be assaulted by a black man described as about 5-feet, 5-inches in height and 145 pounds.
Written for a “James E. Bailey,” it did not fit anyone with that name in Annapolis so Kintop changed the description to match Bailey, a white, 6-foot, 3-inch, 195-pound man.
Bailey sued Kintop in 2011 for writing an incorrect warrant after he was arrested in 2010. He was awarded about $4,600 in 2014.
In his court filing last month, Bailey claims Kintop didn’t rescind the warrant and instead merely altered the physical description information in 2013 to fit the “black Bailey.”
Several pieces of information about Bailey — including his Social Security number — were left on the warrant, the lawsuit claims.
He was arrested by Maryland Transportation Authority Police in April 2017 while driving on the Bay Bridge because of the incorrect information in the warrant, the lawsuit claims. Those offices also were named in his lawsuit.
In the NAACP letter to Buckley, Allsup asks for a “neutral professionally recognized policing agency” investigate the claims and that the city make the findings public.
“Lacking a timely response, the NAACP will be meeting with its Executive Board and seeking legal advice as to the filing of a request for an investigation by the appropriate federal agency in this matter,” she wrote.
Smith wrote that after reviewing the new claims by Bailey the city determined that the warrant incorrectly identified because of a clerical error that did not involve Kintop. She did not explain how the error was made.
But they did point to a ruling by Judge John McKenna in the 2014 verdict. He wrote that the warrant “was taken with the mistaken belief that the alteration of the warrant was permitted without the necessity of formally requesting a finding of probable cause upon a properly submitted Application for Statement of Charges to the District Court Commissioner under oath and affirmation.”
Bailey is the second person to sue Kintop and Annapolis police over a case of mistaken identity in recent years. A black Prince George’s County man sued the department in federal court after he was put in handcuffs and detained while police searched for an assault suspect who allegedly held up a couple at an Annapolis shopping center at gunpoint.
Towhee Sparrow was detained by police in 2014 despite the victims telling investigators the assailant was either a Hispanic or Asian male.
A jury exonerated Kintop and the department. Sparrow’s attorneys have filed papers seeking a new trial, pointing out the jury was all-white in court documents.
The department is also being sued by Ga’Juanah Holland, 39, of Annapolis, who claims her son, who is black, was “racially profiled, seized, assaulted and frightened” by Officer Brett Schrack in 2016.
In her lawsuit against the department, Holland claims Schrack’s actions were part of a pattern of “racial profiling (of) African-American youngsters who reside within Section-8 Tax Credit Housing.”
City attorneys deny the claims and said there is no pattern of discrimination by Annapolis police.