No word from FBI on Baltimore police request to take over Det. Sean Suiter investigation

Monday, 04 December 2017, 11:23:54 PM. The FBI had yet to respond Monday morning to a request from Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis on Friday that it take over the police department’s investigation into the killing last month of Det. Sean Suiter.

The FBI had yet to respond Monday morning to a request from Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis that it take over the police department’s investigation into the killing last month of Det. Sean Suiter.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment Monday morning on the request letter that Davis sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday, and said any response “will be made directly to” Davis.

T.J. Smith, a police spokesman, said Monday that no response had been received.

Suiter, a Baltimore homicide detective, was investigating a 2016 triple homicide in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Harlem Park on Nov. 15 when he was shot in the head with his own firearm under unclear circumstances. He died the next day.

Police department officials have said since the shooting occurred that there was a violent struggle. The department initiated a massive manhunt for the suspect that included the shutdown of the neighborhood using police tactics local residents have criticized.

More recently, police have revealed that they have also been investigating a theory that Suiter’s death was the result of a suicide. Investigators within the department are divided over the two theories.

Baltimore police commissioner asks FBI to take over investigation of Det. Sean Suiter's death Kevin Rector and Justin Fenton

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis has asked the FBI to take over the investigation into the death of Detective Sean Suiter.

Davis made the request in a letter submitted Friday to FBI Director Christopher Wray in Washington. An FBI spokesman had no comment on whether the agency would agree...

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis has asked the FBI to take over the investigation into the death of Detective Sean Suiter.

Davis made the request in a letter submitted Friday to FBI Director Christopher Wray in Washington. An FBI spokesman had no comment on whether the agency would agree...

(Kevin Rector and Justin Fenton)

The investigation also has been shaken by the revelation that Suiter was scheduled to testify, the day after he was shot, in a federal police corruption case involving the police department’s Gun Trace Task Force.

Eight city police officers have been indicted in that case. Last week, federal prosecutors filed another indictment of one of the officers, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, related to a 2010 incident in which they alleged Jenkins duped Suiter into discovering drugs in a suspect’s vehicle that Jenkins had in fact planted there.

In requesting the FBI take over the investigation, Davis said that he feared his detectives were in the dark about some information relevant to the corruption case that would be known to the FBI.

“Our homicide detectives, some of the best in the business, some of the best I’ve ever seen, can’t do their jobs effectively if there is a perception or a reality that we don’t possess all the information that we need to conduct the investigation,” Davis said.

Davis also said the community “needs to know that I am willing, and this police department is willing, to invite any extra sets of eyes or resources … to look at this incident to try to figure it out.”

Smith said Baltimore detectives are continuing to work hard investigating the case pending the response from the FBI.

The federal agency has been weathering a storm of criticism in the past week, as President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to criticize the FBI and question the special prosecutor's investigation into Russian election meddling and possible ties to Trump’s campaign.

Trump tweeted Sunday that the FBI’s “reputation is in Tatters” and the “worst in history.”

Baltimore police commissioner requests FBI take over investigation into killing of Det. Sean Suiter CAPTION

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis has requested the FBI take over the investigation into the death of Det. Sean Suiter. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis has requested the FBI take over the investigation into the death of Det. Sean Suiter. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore sees 319th killing of 2017, eclipsing last year's homicide total CAPTION

Baltimore sees 319th killing of 2017, eclipsing last year's homicide total.

Baltimore sees 319th killing of 2017, eclipsing last year's homicide total.

krector@baltsun.com

twitter.com/rectorsun

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