Witness intimidation summit held in Baltimore

Baltimore State's Attorney hosted at U. Baltimore Law School

November 29, 2011|By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore City State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein hosted a summit Tuesday about witness intimidation where police, prosecutors and witness assistance providers could discuss the best ways to protect and support victims and witnesses of crime.

"Violent retaliation against victims, witnesses, and informants threatens the very fabric of our criminal justice system and our communities," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings in a statement before the summit. Cummings was the event's keynote speaker.

The meeting's agenda included weighing the risk of danger to a witness against the cost of relocation, partnerships among jurisdictions to protect witnesses, the ways that gangs affect witness safety and the means to provide for witnesses with unique needs.

According to a statement Monday from Bernstein's office, the meeting was held at the University of Baltimore School of Law and expected attendees included the state's attorney for Prince George's County, Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III and the director of the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center.

Officials from Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, Philadelphia and Washington were also expected to take part in the event.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

twitter.com/stevekilar

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