Officer in shooting suspended


October 16, 2007|By Gus G. Sentementes

The Baltimore Police Department has suspended an officer involved in the shooting of a man accused of threatening to assault him with a tire iron Saturday after internal affairs investigators began a probe into "personal issues" involving the officer, a department spokesman said.

In a preliminary review, police investigators said they believe that Officer Andre J. Robinson acted appropriately when he shot a man who first struck a police cruiser with a tire iron and then threatened and advanced on the officer, said spokesman Sterling Clifford.

But the department's Internal Investigations Division has opened a second inquiry -- separate from the use-of-force investigation -- that will look at why Robinson was off his post in the Northern District when the shooting occurred and at unspecified personal issues that have arisen since the shooting, Clifford said.

The incident unfolded about 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the 3000 block of Dupont Ave. in Northwest Baltimore. The man threatened Robinson with the tire iron, and the officer drew his service weapon and fired at the man, striking him once in each leg, police said.

Clifford said the wife of the man who was shot was at the scene with Robinson and witnessed the incident. He declined to release the woman's name.

"As a result of the shooting, some personal issues relating to the police officer have come to light, and that's being investigated," Clifford said.

Police identified the suspect as Derrick Cook, 39, and did not release an address. He remains at Sinai Hospital, police said.

Clifford said Robinson joined the department in 1993. Robinson was fired from the department in December 1998, but the department was forced to reinstate him in August 1999, Clifford said. Because the officer was reinstated, details of the case that led to his termination and subsequent reinstatement have been expunged from the department's personnel records, Clifford said.

Reached by telephone, a brother of Cook declined to comment. Cook's grandmother, Delores Cook, 76, said she didn't know why her grandson was shot by the officer, and that he has a wife and a son. Cook also has two daughters with another woman, she said.

She said no relatives have been able to visit Cook in the hospital because he remains under police guard.

"They won't let anybody see him," Delores Cook said.

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