The finalized report released Tuesday by the independent panel appointed to review the death of Baltimore Police Det. Sean Suiter concluded that the officer took his own life. The conclusion could have consequences for his family, the police department and the medical examiner’s office.
Baltimore Sun reporters Justin Fenton and Ian Duncan spoke to Baltimore Sun opinion editor Andrew Green on Facebook about readers’ questions regarding the report
Here are some of the top questions and answers from a discussion broadcast live on Facebook. You can watch the full Q&A above:
The medical examiner ruled this to be a homicide. Now, this review panel said it was a suicide. What happens next?
Justin Fenton: It’s important to remember that the medical examiner is often developing theories about how people die. They are presented with evidence that is available at the time and they determined how they think it happened. This autopsy happened to be concluded without some of the information that has come to light since. The IRB is saying this report should be considered as new evidence. The medical examiner is saying that they are examining it and could change the ruling.
What were some of the new things in this report that the medical examiner was not looking at?
Duncan: The big thing that the medical examiner said they didn’t know was any of the allegations about Det. Suiter’s connection to the Gun Trace Task Force. They confirmed yesterday ‘we were not aware of that.’ The report links it to the suicide, but they do not go so far to say it was a motive to commit suicide.
We know the bullet we believed killed him was found. What happened with the other two bullets that were apparently shot?
Fenton: It never came out what happened to them until this week and now they’re saying they didn’t find them. The implication is that they were shot into the air. … They think that he or somebody shot them into the air.
We don’t have evidence in this report of him saying anything to colleagues or anyone else about depression or suicidal ideation and now we find out that his personal computer at home has never been searched at home. Is that correct?
Fenton: Yes, that is hard to understand. They searched his work computer and drew some conclusions from that. But the personal computer, they didn’t even try it. The phone showed he had convicted Gun Trace Task Force members Momodu Gando and Maurice Ward among his contacts and that he had deleted them. He had also deleted some conversations, but they don’t know who from.