Baltimore, MD – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has refused to take over the murder investigation of Baltimore Police Department (BPD) Detective Sean Suiter, who was fatally shot in November while conducting an investigation into a 2016 triple homicide.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, Det. Suiter’s widow Nicole Suiter, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, members of the Baltimore City Council, and several members of Congress requested the FBI intervene and conduct the investigation, in response to conspiracy theories that Det. Suiter’s murder was somehow connected to an investigation of police corruption to which he was a witness, and that Baltimore's homicide detectives could be involved even though they had no connection to the case.
In an undated letter reviewed by The Baltimore Sun, the FBI told Commissioner Davis it had no evidence to suggest Det. Sean Suiter’s death was “directly connected” to the corruption probe or any other federal case.
“For this reason, we believe it prudent for your office to continue as the lead in this investigation, with our current commitment to assist and support you fully, including providing FBI analytical, forensic, and investigative support,” the letter from FBI Assistant Director Stephen E. Richardson said.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Commissioner Davis said the FBI’s response suggested the federal agency has zero reason to believe Det. Suiter’s death was the result of a conspiracy by other cops to kill him before he could testify in the corruption case.
“If Detective Suiter’s pending testimony was somehow a factor in his death, I believe the FBI would have taken [the case] in a heartbeat, and I believe they would have taken it in grand style. I think they would have brought in every resource at their disposal to Baltimore to get to the bottom of it,” Commissioner Davis said. “The fact that they didn’t tells me that they don’t believe it.”
He said that was one of “three working theories” that he hoped had been put to rest as the investigation into who murdered Det. Suiter continued.
Commissioner Davis told the Baltimore Sun that the FBI’s decision resolved concerns he had that the federal agency might be conducting its own investigation, and withholding information from Baltimore homicide detectives.
Det. Suiter died Nov. 16, the same day he had been scheduled to testify in front of a federal grand jury in their case against Baltimore Police Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, a former member of the Gun Trace Task Force.
In that case, eight Baltimore Police officers were charged with racketeering conspiracy, with allegations that included robbing citizens, falsifying reports, selling seized drugs and guns, participating in home invasions, and earning fraudulent overtime.
The autopsy revealed that Det. Suiter, an 18-year veteran of the police department, was murdered with his own weapon, after a short, violent struggle.
Commissioner Davis said he’d only learned of the murdered detective’s planned grand jury testimony after he was shot, and he has repeatedly said that investigating officers have found no connection between Det. Suiter’s murder and his planned testimony.
Det. Suiter’s testimony was not pivotal to the corruption case.
He said the investigation into Det. Suiter's murder is ongoing.
Police have no suspects, and the detective remains the only unsolved, line-of-duty murder of an officer in the Baltimore Police Department’s history.