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FBI did not take over investigations of detective murder

BALTIMORE – The FBI is not more than an investigation into the murder of a Baltimore city detective who was shot in the head, the day before he was to testify before a federal grand jury about a group of accused officers, the top civil servant said Wednesday.

FBI officials have seen no evidence to suggest Detective Sean Suiter death is “connected” to the federal corruption investigation, therefore, FBI officials believed that it would be “prudent” for the police to continue with the lead of the investigation, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said, quoting from a letter he said he received from FBI Assistant Director Stephen Richardson.

“That means that they believe that there is currently not a conspiracy to murder Sean Suiter by someone else involved in that ongoing case,” Davis told reporters.

Rumours about Suiter the Nov. 15 shooting went into overdrive last month when Davis confirmed that the acting chief prosecutor of the V. S. and the FBI informed him of the detective was shot on the day before he was to testify in an ongoing federal investigation of a dissolved gun-recovery unit. Eight Baltimore officers have been indicted on charges that they defrauded their department, falsified evidence, and shook down citizens. The same week Suiter was shot, a Philadelphia officer was the ninth officer indicted in the investigation of Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force.

Suiter was attacked while investigating a 2016 triple murder with his partner in a high-crime neighborhood. Davis said Suiter approached with a “suspicious” man in a vacant lot between the row houses, which lead to a violent confrontation, in which he was shot and killed with his own gun. His partner can be seen on private surveillance video taking the cover the other side of the street, according to Davis.

For weeks, Davis has repeatedly said that his department had no reason to believe Suiter’s death was connected to his pending testimony, but he has also emphasised that the researchers cannot exclude the possibility of something.

He sent a formal request on Dec. 1 ask the FBI to take over the investigation. In its request to the FBI director, Davis said that the investigation was greatly hampered by the fact that he was to appear before a grand jury the next day.”

On Wednesday, he told reporters that he is the “unusual step” for the FBI to lead the investigation “in the first place because of the exceptional circumstances associated with the death” of Suiter and because he knows that many people who “think that there is corruption involved.”

“It was out of an abundance of caution. I wanted the credibility to be at its highest level,” said Davis, adding that he has full confidence in his service, and Baltimore, “the best detectives” everywhere.

There are no arrests, despite a $215,000 reward.

Davis said that there was “no evidence” for any speculation that the homicide detective staged suicide. And he stressed that the FBI did not think that Suiter death “has something to do with that, in anticipation of the testimony.”

“If they did, I have no doubt in my mind that the FBI would have taken of this case,” he said, adding that “what we have left to us is a murder committed by a yet-to-be-unidentified perpetrator.”

He stressed that the Suiter research was an active investigation.

FBI agents and other federal authorities have been assisting the Baltimore police in the high-profile murder investigation for weeks.

Suiter, the widow, Nicole, also wanted the FBI to lead the investigation into the death of her husband, according to Davis and Baltimore Mayor, Catherine Pugh. Davis said that she was aware of the FBI’s decision.

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David McFadden on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dmcfadd

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