Speed Reads

Unsolved mysteries

Who killed a Baltimore Police detective the day before his testimony about corrupt fellow officers?

On Monday, people in Baltimore paid their respects to slain homicide Detective Sean Suiter, shot in the head with his own gun on Nov. 15 by an unknown assailant in Baltimore's Harlem Park neighborhood. There are a lot of unusual things about the case.

Suiter was the first Baltimore Police officer killed on duty in a decade, for example, and the Baltimore PD has rarely failed to quickly identify and apprehend police killers, dating back to 1808, The Baltimore Sun reports. Even a $215,000 reward for information has not unearthed a suspect. The entire Harlem Park neighborhood was on lockdown for five days. And last Wednesday evening, right before Thanksgiving, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis confirmed rumors flying around the community that a day after he was killed, Suiter had been scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury investigating corruption in an elite squad of fellow Baltimore Police officers.

Davis said the FBI had assured him that Suiter, a 43-year-old married father of five, was not a target of the federal investigation into the Baltimore PD's Gun Trace Task Force, and said Baltimore Police have no reason to believe Suiter's killing was connected to his testimony. He said Suiter and his partner were in a "very dangerous area" and made a "spontaneous decision to investigate" a man behaving suspiciously, adding, "I understand the speculation that exists." Ari Melber dug into the story on MSNBC Monday evening.

Another wrinkle, notes Rachel M. Cohen at The Intercept, is that Suiter's normal partner was off duty on the day in question, and he was investigating a 2016 homicide streak with another detective, whom The Baltimore Sun identified as Detective David Bomenka. Baltimore activists are especially suspicious about the unclaimed reward money. "If it was a citizen who did this, it would have already been over by now with that high of a reward," community organizer Ralikh Hayes told The Intercept last week.