No indictments in city patrol wagon death

March 30, 1992

A Baltimore grand jury has ended nearly two full days of deliberation by declining to issue any criminal indictments against two police officers involved in the March 3 arrest of a drug suspect who later died in police custody.

"All questions of law relating to an unlawful death were presented to the grand jury," said State's Attorney Stuart O. Simms. "The grand jury declined to return any charges."

Mr. Simms, the city's chief prosecutor, said it was appropriate to present the evidence in the patrol wagon death of 29-year-old Robert E. Privett to "an independent body" such as the grand jury for full consideration: "There were sufficient unresolved legal and factual issues," he said.

The grand jury's decision was greeted as vindication by at least one of the officers involved, who told reporters last week he was greatly relieved: "I'm glad that it's over with," Officer Thomas R. Jefferies said at a news conference at the offices of Henry R. Belsky, an attorney for the police union.

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