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February 28, 2011

Two former police chiefs and a former Maryland U.S. attorney among those to review Select Lounge shooting

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Friday the members of a panel to review the events that led to a January shooting outside Select Lounge.

The announcement came just three days after some 100 family members and friends of one of the victims of the shooting, officer William H. Torbit, Jr., protested City Hall demanding the investigation be sped up. 

Though at the time of the incident, Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said the investigation would take three weeks, six weeks later nothing as of last week had been finalized. 

The mayor's announcement may assuage the concerns of the victims' family.

The members of the panel include two respected former police chiefs and a former U.S. attorney for Maryland, Justin Fenton reports:

They are: 

Darrel W. Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association at the Johns Hopkins University's Division of Public Safety Leadership program. Stephens is a former chief of police in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Newport News, Va.; and served as executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. Stephens did not return a message seeking comment.

Hubert Williams, president of the Police Foundation, a Washington think tank with a reputation for progressive policing tactics. He is a former police director — the equivalent of police chief — in Newark, N.J., and is a founding president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Officers.

In 1992, he was the deputy chair of the Los Angeles Police Department's review of riots there. In Baltimore, he led the effort that selected Thomas C. Frazier to be the city's police commissioner in 1993. Through the Police Foundation, he declined to comment.

James K. "Chips" Stewart, former director of the National Institute of Justice. He is a senior fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses' Institute for Public Research, which provides consulting on domestic policy issues. In that role, he has worked on reviews of police use-of-force incidents in Oakland, Calif, where he was a former police commander, and Tampa, Fla.

 The full story is here.

The homicide unit' own investigation into the shooting is still ongoing; final autopsy reports have not yet arrived. 

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Posted by Erik Maza at 4:10 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: News


This panel is nothing more than another stall tactic. Justice delayed is justice denied, and once again the citizen taxpayers of Baltimore have been denied justice by the Mayor and Police of Baltimore.

If by chance, the BPD is found negligent in the review, and Select's continued woes force them close, I wonder if the owners would have grounds for a loss of business suit against the City. Hmmm...

@Sucio I've been wondering that as well

I'm sure the department just feels that four alive officers are more valuable than one dead officer and one dead civilian. We can't expect a legitimate resolution to this. They'll probably pick one fall guy, hide the others behind a desk for a bit and hope everyone will forget in 6 months.

It's scary how the cop who pushed some punk kid will probably end up with a harsher punishment than these guys.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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