Crime Scenes: City police rename street in slain detective's honor

Police continue to mourn lives lost

  • The street sign, "Det. B. Stevenson Way," in honor of Detective Brian A. Stevenson, an 18-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, who was killed Oct. 16, the day before his 38th birthday, while out celebrating in Canton.
The street sign, "Det. B. Stevenson Way," in honor… (Peter Hermann, Baltimore…)
December 01, 2010|By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun

They wanted it so that every police officer who turns off Argonne Drive and into the Northeast District station's parking lot will remember "B."

No need to spell out the first name — Brian.

Not even on the new street sign in his honor. Unveiled at a ceremony on a blustery Wednesday afternoon, it simply says: "Det. B. Stevenson Way."

His friends and his family knew him as "B."

They also knew him as "Smiley."

The city mourned him as Detective Brian A. Stevenson, an 18-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, as a husband and father of three who was killed Oct. 16, the day before his 38th birthday, while out celebrating in Canton.

He was off duty and parking his car on Hudson Street when he got into an argument over a space and, according to police, was hit in the left temple with a "fist-sized" chunk of concrete. The 25-year-old suspect has been charged with first-degree murder.

Stevenson's death came amid a series of tragedies for the city police force. In September, Officer James Fowler was killed in a car accident in Pennsylvania. Officer Thomas Portz Jr. was killed Oct. 20 when his cruiser ran into the back of a fire engine.

Early Saturday, Baltimore's police commissioner rushed back from a Thanksgiving weekend retreat to be at the bedside of a rookie officer who was shot while confronting an armed man on a downtown street. The officer survived.

And so on Wednesday, police gathered again to remember one of their own, and the commissioner, Frederick H. Bealefeld III, recalled the names of two other officers lost from this district a decade ago — John D. Platt and Kevin McCarthy.

"Only a handful of people in this building remember the names Platt and McCarthy, who were taken from this very building," Bealefeld told Stevenson's family and friends, and about two dozen police officers who had gathered for the ceremony.

There is a memorial to Platt and McCarthy on the spot where a drunken driver plowed into their cruiser at Glenmore and Alta avenues in 2000, but a sign at the district will ensure that every officer who drives in and out remembers Stevenson's name.

"Let us keep his flame alive," Bealefeld said. "He was trying to make the city better."

Simple words followed by even simpler words from the officer's widow, Ksisha Stevenson, who told the crowd, "You are constantly in our prayers. We thank you for loving Brian."

The commissioner took the widow's hand as a police major who doubles as a chaplain led everyone in prayer.

Ksisha Stevenson then pulled a string to remove the brown covering from the sign high on a pole in front of the station.

Northeastern District Deputy Maj. Darryl D. DeSousa invited her to climb into a police car and take the first ride on the newly named street. She broke the ceremony's somber tone, telling the major, "I don't have to ride in the back, do I?"

She didn't.

When the ride had concluded, the department sent out a public notice on Twitter titled "In Memory." The brief statement, noting that the dedication had concluded, said simply, "Rest In Peace."

peter.hermann@baltsun.com

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