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Suiter panel begins independent review of homicide detective's death

Eight men conducting comprehensive review of death
Posted at 2:52 PM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 17:49:26-04

In the Baltimore Police Commissioner's conference room on the fifth floor of police headquarters, eight new sets of eyes begin to focus on a case that has paralyzed many in this city for months.

Most are experienced lawmen, all bringing their expertise to the death of Baltimore Police Homicide Detective Sean Suiter.

"I've just sort of tallied up what everyone was saying and I'd say that we have an excess of seven to eight hundred homicides that we've either supervised or personally investigated,” said the leader of the independent review board James Stewart, “So there is an extraordinary amount of experience that has been assembled here,"

James “CHIPS” Stewart is the chair of this independent review board.

He a nationally recognized criminal justice expert who is joining seven other experts including retired police from New York to right here in Baltimore.

This IRB says it could take 3 to 6 months, but in the end, they will publish their findings and conclusions.

"We have a blend of people who are familiar with Baltimore and people from the outside and I think that helps demonstrate the independence that we have been able to bring to this," Stewart says.

It is that independence that Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa is counting on.

He formally charged this group with their responsibility this morning and is asking for a complete review of Suiter's death, the department's crime scene investigation tactics in Harlem Park and the interaction between the police and the community.

"Basically, it’s a comprehensive review of what happened on November 15th and I am just asking that you go where the evidence leads,” the commissioner said, “Go where the evidence leads."

And with that, citing that Suiter’s homicide is technically still an open case, the board voted to close the meeting to the public and the media were escorted out of the room.

Still, the IRB promises a full report in three to six months.

At that time, Commissioner De Sousa says he will make that report available to the public.