City police defended on complaints

Man killed last week didn't identify officer, Norris says

March 22, 2001|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore's police commissioner said yesterday that Internal Affairs detectives did all they could in investigating complaints made months ago by a man killed last week in a case in which an officer has been charged.

Commissioner Edward T. Norris said Tristin D. Little Sr., 28, had called internal investigators in January to complain that an officer was harassing him. But he refused to identify the officer he was complaining about or cooperate in any way, Norris said.

Little, who was involved with the officer's wife, was shot several times with a police-issued gun March 16 in the parking lot of his apartment complex in the 5400 block of Cedonia Ave.

Officer Rodney Price, 34, a 13-year veteran, was arrested a short time later and charged with first-degree murder. He is being held without bail at the city Detention Center.

After the shooting, Little's relatives said police had ignored his calls to Internal Affairs regarding Price.

Norris said an investigation revealed that Little called Internal Affairs on Jan. 11. Officials said he spoke to a detective and complained that an officer had been following him for three weeks.

Ragina C. Averella, a department spokeswoman, said Little would not identify the officer. She said another investigator called Little the next day, and he again declined to name the officer and said he did not wish to file a complaint or initiate an investigation.

Averella said the department sent Little a registered letter Jan. 18 asking him to reconsider but that it was returned Feb. 5 marked "undeliverable." She said it sent a second letter to another address March 1. That letter has not been answered, she said.

Little's relatives could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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