Odenton forum to take on issues of police transparency, accountability

An Odenton forum next week will address the issue of transparency and accountability within local police departments.

Hosted by the Community Actively Seeking Transparency, a local organization headed in part by community activist Marguerite Morris, the discussion will take on a number of issues regarding local law enforcement.

The forum will be at Kingdom Hope Ministries, 1566 Annapolis Road, on Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Morris has alleged Anne Arundel County police have improperly withheld documents about the investigation into her 22-year-old daughters’ death in Hanover in 2012.

Police said her daughter, Katherine Morris, died in an apparent suicide at Anne Arundel Community College on May 6, 2012. The department said she was found with two lit charcoal grills and a bottle of sleeping pills inside her still-running car.

Morris sued the department earlier this year to release documents relating to the investigation. She claimed that when she filed an extensive Public Information Act request in Nov. 2015, missing was any communication in 2012, the year her daughter died.

Morris has also alleged the investigation “was a rush to a suicide finding,” something police have denied.

Anne Arundel police spokeswoman Sgt. Jacklyn Davis pointed to subsequent FBI and police investigations after the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Katherine Morris’ death a suicide. Police reopened the case after the initial investigation and gave the bureau access to the case file and both agencies confirmed the department’s original conclusion.

“If people have concerns about cases, they’re welcome to bring them forward,” Davis said, adding the department will reopen cases like they did with Morris’ case if necessary.

Separately, Bishop Charles Carroll has asked for more transparency from Annapolis police and local law enforcement regarding the shooting death of his son, Charles Carroll, 25, of Baltimore. He marched with other community members and clergy in July to bring attention to the city’s various unsolved homicides.

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