The family of Baltimore police detective 43-year-old Sean Suiter, who was shot in the head by his own gun a day before he was set to testify in front of a federal grand jury that was in charge of investigating corruption allegations by the Gun Trace Task Force, is speaking out about the circumstances and timing surrounding his death.
“It’s just too much of a coincidence — the day before he was due to testify. It looks like an inside job,” Damira Suiter, 27, Suiter’s daughter, told the Baltimore Sun in a group interview on Tuesday.
Suiter’s remaining family members said they plan on organizing protests to shine light on what they view as a lackluster investigation and probable murder and cover up for one of its own.
Suiter’s widow, Nicole Suiter, agreed with Damira Suiter and said the timing of her husband’s death is not irrelevant.
“I just feel like it was an inside job. That’s what I feel like.”
Detective Suiter was set to testify in front of a federal grand jury on November 17, 2017 just two days after his November 15 death, regarding an arrest he participated in with the Gun Trace Task Force’s leader, Baltimore Police Sergeant Wayne Jenkins.
The detective was expected to testify to the federal grand jury to reveal that Sergeant Jenkins intentionally planted drugs on a suspect while they were working together on an assignment.
Eight officers employed by the Baltimore Police Department have since been convicted of crimes including earning fraudulent overtime, taking part in criminal home invasions and robberies, selling seized guns and drugs, falsifying police reports, racketeering conspiracy and robbing innocent citizens.
Currently, the family does not have any specific information to back up their allegation, but Nicole Suiter says officers she never knew before have reached out to her after they left or retired from the department.
The former officers give her tips, information and avenues to pursue regarding the cause of her husband’s death.
Suiter’s family says one of the biggest frustrations for them is that detectives never spoke to any of them about his state of mind during his last days and aren’t keeping them up to date about investigating the matter.
“Sean deserve better,” Nicole Suiter told the Sun.
“He gave 18 years of his life and it’s just like they said, ‘”The heck with him.'”
The Baltimore Police Department said in a statement that it has “devoted significant resources to finding out exactly what caused detective Suiter’s death, claiming it has “thoroughly investigated every lead.”
“This remains an open homicide investigation but, at this time, there are simply no new leads to pursue,” the department said.
“Other than Det. Suiter’s family, nobody wants this case solved more than the members of the Baltimore Police Department.”
However, department spokesperson Matt Jablow confirmed there is currently no lead investigator assigned to Suiter’s case.
Suiter was on-duty with another homicide detective when he dashed into a vacant lot, where he was shot in the back of his head.
After his death, Police commissioner Kevin Davis said Suiter was engaged in a struggle with an assailant and provided a possible description of a suspect.
But Baltimore police later stated Suiter was shot by his own gun, which was under him when he rolled over.
The independent review panel has stated that Suiter feared potential fallout from the grand jury proceedings where federal prosecutors wanted Suiter to testify under oath about the arrest he made with Jenkins.
Marquis Suiter, detective Suiter’s 26-year-old son, says the reports and investigations by the department are not credible.
“A lot of people say, ‘You don’t know the signs.’ But we know our father … If there was something he was going through, he would’ve told us. He tells us everything, because he expects us to come to him and talk to him about stuff,” Marquis said about his father, adding the police have let their blue brother and his family down.
“My dad was supposed to be part of this blue family — they were supposed to look out for their own, just like he looked out for his partners and protected his partners,” Damira said. “It kind of hurts knowing they dropped the ball on their own.
Nicole Suiter said she wants the department to figure out who was behind her husband’s death.
“Don’t give up on the Suiter family. Try to figure out who did this, whether it’s one of your own or not.”
No one from the state’s attorney’s office has contacted her to offer assistance or to talk about their role in Suiter’s death.
After the lead investigator assigned to investigate Suiter’s death was removed from the case, no one in Suiter’s family was informed.
They do not know if there are any detectives assigned to the case.