(UPI) — A Baltimore police officer who was fatally shot last week was scheduled to testify in front of federal grand jury against fellow officers the next day, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis confirmed Wednesday.
Det. Steve Suiter was shot on Nov. 15 and died the next day. On Nov. 17, Suiter was set to testify against eight officers accused of conspiring with drug dealers in a scheme that went from the streets of Baltimore to the streets of Philadelphia.
“I am now aware of Detective Suiter’s pending federal grand jury testimony surrounding an incident that occurred several years ago with BPD police officers who are federally indicted in March of this year,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said in a press conference Wednesday.
Davis pointed out that Justice Department attorneys said Suiter was not a target of the criminal investigation.
“There is no information that has been communicated to me that Detective Suiter was anything other than a stellar detective, great friend, loving husband and dedicated father,” Davis said.
Davis also said that authorities do not have evidence that Suiter’s death is related to the testimony he was scheduled to give to federal prosecutors.
“The BPD and FBI do not possess any information that this incident..is part of any conspiracy,” Davis said, according to the Baltimore Sun.
In the case Suiter was scheduled to testify, seven Baltimore cops were charged in March with racketeering conspiracy and racketeering offenses, including robbery, extortion, and overtime fraud. The Justice Department accused one of those cops, Det. Momodu Bondeva Kenton Gondo, of joining a drug dealing conspiracy with five civilians.
The seven police officers were all part of an elite gun task force team created to get guns off Baltimore streets in an effort to decrease the city’s recent rise in violence.
On Nov. 14, just one day before Suiter was shot, FBI agents arrested Philadelphia police officer Eric Troy Snell. Snell is accused of conspiring with the indicted Baltimore police officers who federal officials believe stole drugs from people in Baltimore to sell in Philadelphia.
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