ACLU Announces Lawsuit Against Baltimore PD For Response To Det. Suiter Shooting

The ACLU announced a lawsuit by Harlem Park residents who claim the lockdown during a murder investigation was unfair.

Baltimore, MD – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced Monday that the residents of Baltimore’s Harlem Park neighborhood have filed a lawsuit against the police department for their treatment during the investigation of Detective Sean Suiter’s shooting death.

The lawsuit alleges that the Baltimore Police Department imposed a “virtual police state” on the West Baltimore residents who lived nearby the area where Det. Suiter was fatally shot in the days that followed his death, WJZ reported.

The lawsuit claims police set up a perimeter and locked down the area in a manner which required Harlem Park residents to show identification at checkpoints or at their homes proving they lived in the area.

The lockdown on the predominantly-black neighborhood lasted for six days following the detective’s Nov. 15, 2017 shooting.

“I really felt like I was in jail. I didn’t feel like I should have to show my ID every time I come to my own neighborhood. Family couldn’t come over. My son couldn’t come home from school- it was just too much going on,” Harlem Park resident Nicole Lee told WJZ.

The lawsuit alleges that residents were “stopped by police, without any individualized suspicion of wrongdoing, any time they came and went from their homes.”

The suit asks the court to declare that the residents’ federal and state constitutional rights were violated, WJZ reported.

It also wants the court to prohibit Baltimore police from ever doing another similar neighborhood lockdown.

The lawsuit calls for the destruction of all the personal information obtained from residents during the investigation and seeks financial compensation for the violation of their civil rights by the Baltimore Police Department, according to WJZ.

“We know that what Baltimore Police did in Harlem Park would not have happened in Roland Park. It’s time for unequal policing in Black and white neighborhoods to stop. There must be justice for families in Harlem Park.” ACLU of Maryland Executive Director Dana Vickers Shelley said.

Residents complained about the inconvenience of having the neighborhood under lockdown at the time, The Baltimore Sun reported.

"This is ridiculous because you can't go in the house. My kids missed two days of school because they was doing that SWAT thing out here. I can't take this," Harlem Park resident Lakeisha McLean told WBAL.

The ACLU raised a hue and cry and questioned the legality of the investigative process of the police department as it was being implemented.

But now-former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis brushed off complaints, The Baltimore Sun reported.

“I would much rather endure some predictive criticism from the ACLU and others about that decision, than endure a conversation with Detective Suiter's wife about why we didn't do everything we possibly could do to recover evidence and identify the person who murdered her husband," Commissioner Davis said at the time.

Det. Suiter was conducting a follow-up investigation in connection with a 2016 triple homicide when he was shot in the head with his own weapon on Nov. 15, 2017.

His death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office and Baltimore police investigated it as such.

But in August of 2018, an independent review board concluded that Det. Suiter’s fatal gunshot wound had been self-inflicted.

Baltimore police announced on Nov. 6 that they had closed the investigation after a Maryland State Police investigation also concluded that Det. Suiter’s death was a suicide.

Det. Suiter’s family has continued to dispute all assertions that his death was a suicide and have called his murder an “inside job.”

The detective was scheduled to testify in the highly-publicized trial of members of the city’s former Gun Trace Task Force the day after he was shot.

Comments (42)
No. 1-19
Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

Well, it IS Baltimore and they DO have a Lunatic for a DA and a Police Hating Mayor

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

Keep voting for those same politicians and you're going to have to keep putting up with the same kind of shit!

amlee
amlee

If this flies.....does that mean DUI checkpoints will be illegal?

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

So sorry that your life was temporarily interrupted, oh well, fuck you!!

Ferret guy
Ferret guy

Leave it to the ACLU. a bunch of communist assholes

Dr Shoe
Dr Shoe

There's a very simple solution to this problem, Stop All Policing Activities in that Neighborhood! The End!

Blackwolf1
Blackwolf1

ACLU- AMERICAN CRIMINAL LIBERTIES UNION.

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

OMG! Really! Don't like sh#t like that in your neighborhood? Don't kill anyone then!

tfort
tfort

Sounds like they were being accused of going from East to West Germany a few years back. What kind of country do we have if cops demand id to walk into your own home?

RPG156
RPG156

Seems about right for Baltimore and the ACLU. Although it would be interesting to know what BPD was trying to accomplish with the ID check in the neighborhood. Creating a suspect database?

Raymelson
Raymelson

Sounds the law over stepped there authority on this one

The express
The express

Fuck the ACLU when are we going to put them down like the dogs they are?

Stanracer
Stanracer

Wow....a community wide ghetto lottery. That was just a matter of time. Ka.....CHING!!!!!!

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Here is the ACLU video showing bodycam footage of multiple persons entering the crime scene being requested to show ID.

It's legal in every state for an officer to approach someone and ask questions. Of course, the videos are likely edited to leave out any portion where the officers say it is a request, not a demand, like at 1:30.

I see a lot of voluntary compliance, and no one getting arrested or refused entry. It would seem that you would want that for a successful lawsuit, but hey, it's Baltimore, and an anti-police jury should not be too difficult to find.

colonelorville
colonelorville

Sometimes the ACLU forgets its founding purpose. To assist people who did want to go to war because of religious beliefs.

Patriot63
Patriot63

Harlem Park has a history of shootings that the Police are trying to help the residents to rid the problem which is a black on black issue. Roland Park is completely different not to be compared to because there isn't an issue of shootings. You would think that the residents would appreciate the Law Enforcement taking extra measures to help rid the shootings. This twisting things to make it a racial issue has got to stop. There are times that in situations like this it should be a welcomed inconvenience for the sake of the communities safety. If the Cops didn't take the extra measures the race baiters would have made it an issue that the Police don't care about Black Communities because they didn't take extra measures to help our Community but if the same problem were to have happened in Roland Park the Police would have taken the extra measures to help eliminate the problem. Like so many times in the past the race baiters have twisted the narrative narrative to fit there agenda. That leaves Law Enforcement in a Damned if we Do or Damned if we Don't situation. All this does is cause wrongful racial division and tie up our Courts unnecessarily.

Rob56
Rob56

Well the citizens will not identify or testify , against Known perpetrators. The court's allows the violators back on the streets, even before report is filed.

61mouse
61mouse

The more I read shit like this I need to go off the grid forever

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Maybe this lawsuit will lead to some new insights into the circumstances of Detective Suiter's untimely death.