By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, [email protected]
More allegations of police misconduct are being aimed again at the beleaguered Baltimore Police Department (BPD). The latest charges are being leveled by Baltimore’s Civilian Review Board (CRB) in reference to the case of Keith Davis, Jr.
This week, the CRB said Davis was wrongfully charged after being shot by police officers. He is currently in jail on handgun charges and is facing a murder charge connected to the June 2015 shooting death of Kevin Jones, a security guard at Pimlico Race Course in Northwest Baltimore. Davis was shot hours later by Baltimore police after allegedly running from the scene of a car crash, according to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.
However, the CRB, after studying the Davis case for nearly two years, concluded in a report released April 10, that two BPD officers should be terminated and two others suspended connected to the Davis case. The report also indicates all the bullets found at the scene of the shooting were fired by police and a gun police said had Davis’ prints on it was never fired. The CRB report also notes inconsistencies in police testimony and internal affairs interviews.
Davis’ wife, Kelly, has maintained her husband’s innocence from the beginning.
“The ink is holding officers accountable saying that they did something so egregious on that day that they are calling for them to be terminated,” said Kelly Davis during a press conference, as she held the CRB report. “This is the ink that we’ve been waiting for. The fight does not stop until my husband crosses that threshold of my home.”
Melba Saunders, of the State’s Attorney’s Office released a statement concerning the Davis case and the CRB report. “The Civilian Review Board is an important body to help bridge the gap of community distrust in the justice system. However, the board’s findings are separate and apart from the criminal proceedings currently pending against the defendant, for which we cannot comment. Therefore, the criminal investigation into the alleged actions of the defendant has no correlation with the use of force applied by the police in the apprehension of him,” Saunders stated.
Jill Carter, director of the Baltimore Office of Civil Rights, which oversees the CRB, told the AFRO that out of 263 complaints considered by the CRB, 62 were sustained by the board and out of those 62, only two were upheld by the BPD.
“I’m hoping this will highlight the need of the CRB to strengthen its authority,” Carter said.
“When police have been allowed to police themselves, it has been a colossal failure.”
Davis is scheduled to head to court for the murder charge next month.