The FBI has revealed that they won’t take the lead in an investigation into the murder of a Baltimore cop who was scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury.
The Death of a Good Cop
Sean Suiter, a 43-year-old homicide detective, was found shot by his own gun on November 15, 2017. He died in the hospital the very next day. Suiter had been on the Baltimore police force for 18 years.
Suiter had been working on a follow-up investigation for a triple homicide from 2016 when he noticed someone acting suspiciously. When Suiter confronted him, a struggle occurred and Suiter even managed to make a brief call out on his police radio. The stranger then got a hold of Suiter’s gun and shot him in the head.
While the death of an officer is incredibly tragic, it normally doesn’t warrant the involvement of the FBI. In this case, Baltimore police were looking for an exception to be made.
Grand Juries and Corrupt Cops
What makes Suiter’s death suspicious is that Suiter was set to testify the day after his murder to a federal grand jury in regards to Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force.
Seven members of the task force were accused of a federal racketeering indictment of seizing money, as well as claiming fraudulent overtime and filing false affidavits.
Due to the timing of Suiter’s murder and its circumstances, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis felt that it may be best if the FBI led the investigation.
The FBI considered their position, but ultimately turned down the Baltimore police’s request in part due to a lack of evidence that ties Suiter’s murder to being a grand jury witness. While many people would automatically draw the conclusion that the two events are connected, as horrible as it may sound, murder can often be a random event.
Police Commissioner Davis was quick to point out that the FBI will be helping out in different ways, like providing investigative support, as well as FBI analytical and forensic support. In the meantime, a $215,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Officer Suiter’s killer.