City police remove pair who were assigned to Jessamy security detail

Action comes after one congratulated a colleague acquitted of rape charges

January 25, 2007|By Julie Bykowicz and Gus G. Sentementes | Julie Bykowicz and Gus G. Sentementes,Sun Reporters

Two Baltimore police officers who had been on the security detail of the city's top prosecutor were reassigned yesterday, a day after one was seen in a courtroom congratulating a police officer who had just been acquitted of rape charges.

Byron J. Conaway, an officer for eight years, and Samuel D. Bowden, an officer for 14 years, were removed from State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy's office, Police Department spokesman Matt Jablow said.

Jablow would not say why the transfer occurred, and two representatives for the state's attorney's office declined to comment.

Explaining why she could not comment, Jessamy's spokeswoman Margaret T. Burns gave two reasons -- the security officers are police employees, and "there's a gag order in place anyway."

The gag order pertains to Baltimore Circuit Court rape cases against officers Jemini Jones, Steven Hatley and Brian Shaffer.

On Tuesday, Jones was acquitted of charges in one case, which was handled by the city state's attorney's office. After the not-guilty verdicts were announced and the jury was dismissed, a reporter watched one of Jessamy's security officers give Jones a high-five and slap him on the back.

Jones also is charged in a second, unrelated rape case and in an unrelated gun case. He is scheduled to appear in court in April. Trial dates for Shaffer and Hatley -- accused of helping Jones arrange a sexual encounter -- are to be set Feb. 2.

Jessamy's security detail is made up of five officers and a sergeant, and their salaries are paid by the Baltimore Police Department. Last month, Conaway was lauded for his efforts in helping catch a detained man facing carjacking and armed robbery charges who had briefly escaped the courthouse after his court hearing.

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