City of Baltimore to Compensate Family of Officer Shot Before Testimony

October 28, 2020

The city of Baltimore has agreed to pay workers compensation benefits to the family of a police detective who was fatally shot in the head a day before he was scheduled to testify before a grand jury investigating police corruption.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the agreement with the family of Sean Suiter, disclosed Thursday, allows the city to avoid a possible dispute about whether his death was a homicide or a suicide.

At the time of the November 2017 shooting, authorities said Suiter had been shot with his own gun and launched a manhunt. The medical examiner’s office ruled his death a homicide, but an independent board said Suiter most likely killed himself and staged it to look like a homicide.

“The big question always with the Suiter case is, ‘What happened?’ We don’t answer those questions by way of this settlement – the settlement does not include a determination of a cause of death, or whether that death was in the line of duty,” City Solicitor Dana Moore said. “It simply resolves a civil claim that Detective Suiter’s family is entitled to workers compensation benefits.”

Moore, who did not disclose settlement terms, said a city board is expected to review it for approval next week.

Charles Schultz, an attorney for Suiter’s widow, said the city was prepared to argue that Suiter killed himself.

“It was found to be a homicide, and that conclusion three years later has never changed, and yet the benefits have never been paid,” Schultz said.

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