City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

September 26, 2006

City to consider cameras in police interrogation rooms

The Baltimore Police Department has deployed cameras on some of the city's most crime-ridden streets, but it does not have similar surveillance devices inside interrogation rooms.

Now, with officers facing accusations of misconduct, Council President Sheila Dixon wants to discuss the department's policy on internal monitoring.

Dixon introduced a resolution last night inviting Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm to explain his department's policy "on the use of video and audio recording in custodial interrogations." She wants the hearing to analyze how cameras can prevent wrongful convictions and protect officers from false accusations.

Police Department spokesman Matt Jablow said there are no cameras in interrogation rooms.

"It's not a policy," Jablow said. "That's just how it's always been."

Dixon said the department has sent her a draft policy from the 1970s that requires another officer to be present during an interrogation.

"We need to come into the 21st century," said Dixon, adding that if officers are doing their jobs properly they should have no problem with the cameras.

"It provides more accountability," Dixon said.

Doug Donovan

Baltimore: Federal court

Cecil man sentenced in cocaine case

In federal court in Baltimore yesterday, a 27-year-old Cecil County man received a prison sentence of more than 11 years for possession of crack cocaine. According to evidence presented at his June 27 trial, Robert Gregory Timms of Elkton was in the back seat of a gray Pontiac on June 30, 2005, when it was stopped by a Havre de Grace police officer. The vehicle tested positive for drugs by a police dog. After he was arrested for disorderly conduct, Timms told authorities where to find the drugs, and an officer removed two clear plastic bags containing crack.

Matthew Dolan

Traffic

Russell St. ramp to I-95 to be closed

The ramp from Russell Street onto southbound Interstate 95 is scheduled to be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today as crews perform work on the concrete pavement, according to state transportation officials. As a detour, motorists will be directed from Russell Street west on Bayard Street, south on Washington Boulevard and then onto southbound I-95. Motorists who go past the detour will be directed south onto the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, then west on the Baltimore Beltway to southbound I-95.

Southwest

Victim of fatal hit-and-run named

A woman who was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver early Sunday in Southwest Baltimore was identified by city police yesterday as Shakee Henderson, 22, of the 200 block of Hilton Parkway. Police said Henderson was walking with an 18- year-old woman along Hilton Parkway near Monastery Avenue about 12:05 a.m. when they were struck by a northbound green Chevrolet minivan whose driver failed to stop. Henderson died at St. Agnes Hospital, where her companion was treated and released. Police are seeking the minivan, which likely had damage to its front end.

Richard Irwin

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