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Policing questioned following Edgewood murder

Councilman calls for more than arrests
Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 18:08:04-04

EDGEWOOD, Md. — The call for shots fired and a victim on the street came at seven o'clock Sunday night on Edgewater Drive in Edgewood.

Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler describes the quick response.

RELATED: 27-year-old Baltimore dead after being shot multiple times in Edgewood Sunday

"Deputies were on the scene within two and a half minutes and found our victim, 27-year-old Mr. Sellers from Baltimore, with multiple gunshot wounds," said Gahler.

This latest murder also drew an almost immediate response on social media from Harford County Councilman Andre Johnson.

"I'm just tired of folks saying, 'Thoughts and prayers', and 'It's an unfortunate incident', when these types of acts of violence happen," said Johnson.

Johnson claims there's a lack of police engagement in his district.

"Police just aren't supposed to go into a community just to put handcuffs on people. They're there also as a partner to actually talk to people," added the councilman.

The county's top cop doesn't appreciate how his deputies have been characterized.

"As far as the councilman's comments, I think our community needs to be given more credit. We have an outstanding community here in Harford County,” said Gahler. “The investigators in this case are very pleased with the information that has been provided so far."

The terse exchange comes on the heels of Johnson's office inviting the police to participate in a community event in Edgewood in August that turned out to be a political event for the councilman.

The sheriff ended up billing the councilman's campaign more than $600 for costs associated with the event.

"This isn't about whether the Sheriff's Office is doing a poor job or a good job," said Johnson.

But no matter how much Johnson suggests his criticism isn't personal, Gahler's reaction suggests he's taken it that way.

"We made an effort to reach out to the councilman's office, and I'd hoped to keep all this out of the media and just have it rectified that way," the Sheriff said.