The Slow Hustle (2021) - full transcript

After Baltimore Police Detective Sean Suiter is killed in the line of duty, the tragedy soon becomes enmeshed in a widening corruption scandal that threatens to unravel the public's already strained relationship with law enforcement.

[static whirs]

[bright tone]

- Here, here, here, here.

He's here.
- Okay, you got him?

- Yeah, he's here.
He's here, he's here.

- I'd hit play.

- I got one officer down.
I got one officer down.

Send the medics over here.

- They're coming,
they're coming, they're coming.

[sirens approaching]

- This another officer?
- [shouting indistinctly]

- Don't worry.

- Oh, my God.

- Sean, no!

[indistinct radio chatter]


- Don't worry.
- Sean! Sean!

- Do you have the description?

- No, I don't have
a description.

- I need Foxtrot,
I need Foxtrot.

I need that unit medic
right now.

- Sean!

[dramatic music]

- Hold on, hold on.
Get his legs, get his legs.

- We should wait for the medic.
[indistinct radio chatter]

- Transport him in a car.
Officer's down.

Officer down.

We got to transport.

- We got any suspect

- I didn't see anyone.

- Sean was calling me
to come over here,

and I came around the corner,
and shots were fired.

I was watching the other side.

♪ ♪

- Come on, bud, what happened?

- We were watching
'cause we thought

we saw someone in the alley.
- Uh-huh.

- Sean was covering
that corner,

and I was covering over there.

All of a sudden,
Sean called me over.

As I was running around
the corner,

he started firing,
and as he started firing,

Sean fell.

I didn't even see where
the shots were coming from.

- Did you fire?
- I did not fire.

- Okay, okay.

♪ ♪

- Baltimore City Police
Detective Sean Suiter has died.

- A man who protected this city
for nearly two decades.

- Suspicious killing
of a police officer

roiling the city
of Baltimore.

- A father of five.

- Someone who gave his life
in the line of duty.

[siren wails]

- Everybody in a bad spot,
let's get covered.

[indistinct radio chatter]

- Just before 5:00,
our 18-year veteran

homicide detective
was shot in the head.

- Officer's gun and
officer's radio back there.

- They were investigating
a murder.

They observed a man engaged
in suspicious behaviors.

Detective Suiter
got out of his car,

badge displayed
on his waistband.

- There was no eyewitness
to the shooting.

- Suiter was gunned down in
the violent Harlem Park area.

- His partner was around
the corner, shots rang out.

♪ ♪

- This ain't "Law & Order"

where they find a gun
every episode.

You got to work
for that shit.

♪ ♪

- We have notoriously
one of the most corrupt

police forces in the country.

- I hope they looking
for the truth.

I want the truth.

- He was shot in the head.
How did this happen?

Who did it?

- Officer down.

♪ ♪

- There are a myriad of things
that could have taken place.

I can theorize.

Pshh, it's Baltimore,
don't be surprised

about anything
that takes place here.

all: We want justice!
We want justice!

We want justice!

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- Sean deserves...

- ♪ Tired of being strong ♪

♪ In the face of wrong ♪

♪ I'm looking
for the answers ♪

♪ Nobody givin' chances ♪

♪ Tired of being strong ♪

♪ In the face of wrong ♪

♪ I'm looking
for the answers ♪

♪ Nobody givin' chances ♪

♪ Oh, nobody givin' chances ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Nobody givin' chances ♪

- Without Sean,
life's been different.

Very different.

But, you know, even the strong
get weak sometimes.

Everybody always say,
"You strong,

you strong, you strong,"


I'm not as strong
as everybody think I am.

Especially losing your husband

after 17 years
being together,

that's tough.

- [smooching]

Give me my kiss.


Give me my kiss.
Kissy, kissy.


[keys clacking]

- In Baltimore City,

you can be the most
credible person in the world

and have a video
of Sean Suiter

actually being murdered,

and you could take that
to the cops,

and they probably
still wouldn't arrest

whoever murdered that man

or however
that situation happened.

It would be hard for me
to believe

that somebody can penetrate
the system with facts.

Baltimore doesn't
work like that.

- The Commissioner addressed

whether the suspect
used detective Suiter's

own gun to shoot him,

saying nothing
has been ruled out.

Ballistic tests on shell
casings recovered in the area

show they're all from
a departmental service weapon,

which was the only gun
recovered at the scene.

- That doesn't mean that
there wasn't a second gun

at that scene as well.

- From the beginning of how
this thing was reported,

we just sensed foul play.

- ...about the possibility
that someone...

- I saw Twitter blowing up.

- ...gunshot wound that may
have been related, but...

And I really wanted
to figure out

who murdered
Detective Suiter and why.

What developed for me
out of the whole story

is this whole idea of Black
lives really don't matter.

Like, even if you're a police
officer, they really don't.

This Suiter thing
happening in my hometown

made it extremely
urgent for me,

because if a police officer
cannot be treated fairly,

imagine how they would
treat a person like me.

- I'm chillin' on the steps.
For what?

What are you
touching me for?

- Oh, my God.
- What the fuck?

Hey, yo, what the fuck?
[indistinct shouting]

- ♪ It ain't no sunshine
around my motherfuckin' way ♪

♪ I know you heard that
they killed Freddie Gray ♪

♪ The other day ♪

♪ That's why they got us
out here prayin' ♪

♪ Like some fuckin' slaves ♪

- Sean Suiter's death occurred

when this police department
is still very much reeling

from the 2015 uprising
over the death of Freddie Gray.

♪ ♪

They're unable to stop crime
in the city.

Crime was at a three-year,
nonstop spike.

You know, just a lack of trust
in this police department

and its ability
to investigate a crime

and tell the truth about
an investigation of a crime.

- It does happen in the midst
of this massive corruption,

of this huge scandal.

♪ ♪

One of the worst
police corruption cases

in recent American history.



♪ ♪

- This is a police department

that was very much
on the ropes.

In a way, you know, a hero's
funeral for a fallen officer

was a change of pace.

It offered a time
to appreciate

what police officers
do every day,

to hold up an officer who gave
his life in the line of duty

trying to investigate a crime.

♪ ♪

It was an awful thing
that happened,

but as far as the narrative
is concerned,

all the shit that the Baltimore
Police Department was taking,

suddenly, people were focused
on hardworking cop

losing his life
in the line of duty.

- Detective Sean Suiter
lived and died a hero.

- The funeral was...
it was huge.

I think it was
too much for him,

more than
what he would like,

'cause he's not into
all the fluff and frill.

- You've taught me
so many things,

like how to love myself,
family values,

and how to remain calm in some
of the toughest situations.

One thing we didn't get to go
over was how to handle this.

- I was heartbroken,

losing a partner,
losing a friend.

Hell, the day
that he was killed,

he looked at us and was like,

"All right, man, let me
go out on the street

and try to find this witness."

And I was looking around like,
"Okay, I'll go out with you."

He was like,
"No, you're gonna rush me."

So I left,
'cause he knew I had to go

and pick my son
up from school.

So he was dedicated,
and that was the last...

last I spoke
with him from there.

He was a good guy.

He was a good person.

That smile radiated
before he opened the door.

That laughter came through

right as soon
as he began to talk.

Sitting in a car together,

talking about everything
from our family to me

trying to figure out how a D.C.
guy who works in Baltimore

and lives in P.G.
is a Dallas Cowboys fan.

I said, "Man, you must be
the most confused cat

I've ever met
before in my life."

- It's hard to find the words
to tell a story like this.

It has been
a very emotional day.

When he was pronounced dead,
like, I knew who he was.

I knew I saw him
on an earlier murder.

I had a tweet ready
to go with his picture,

and immediately
the tweet got retweeted.

And that's when I realized
that this guy

is a pretty well-loved guy.

- I knew him for years,

when he was patrolling
this area.

He was a good officer,
he was real friendly.

He ain't give nobody trouble
unless you gave him trouble.

Let me say that.
- He got a lot of respect.

- We called him Scarface

because he had a scar
on his face.

- My uncles were cops.

My dad was a cop.
My cousins were cops.

I come from
a long line of blue.

And so I grew up in the
culture, and so I know it.

As a reporter,
it's worked in my favor.

But, you know,
when you cover

a story like this
from my perspective

and I'm talking
to Nicole Suiter

and I'm seeing the casket,
it resonates

because I know
my mother spent 25 years

fearing what could happen
because her husband was a cop.

- When a cop is killed, it's
an attack on American policing.

- What else
can you give us right now?


- No, I never saw the shooter.
- He was there?

- Sean was behind
the white van.

Sean peeked out as I was
watching the corner here

and from that alley.
- Yes.

- Sean waved me on,
he this.

And so I started...
- And then Sean went in?

- Sean went in, and he yelled,
"Stop! Stop! Stop!"

So I went running,
and as I went running,

the shots started to fire.

I saw Sean hit the ground,
and I saw, like, parts...

- Where did you see that from?

- No. No, no, Sarge.

I ran toward the alley
where he went in.

- Okay.
- You saw where they found him?

So I got to that point,
and the shots started firing.

So I started backing out
and looking around.

- You don't know if it was
from a house or from the street?

- No.

- So he saw something, so most
likely he was on foot, right?

- Most likely this guy
was on foot.

- All right, let me
get that information.

- In the moments
and hours and days

after Detective Suiter
was killed,

it clearly appeared
to be a homicide.

- Be advised...

- There was no reason to think
it was anything else

based on what was being said
and just the way it played out.

You know, we had
an officer shot and killed

in the line of duty.

They were searching
for a suspect.

- He is only described as
an adult African American male

wearing a black jacket
with a white stripe

on the black jacket.

- They told me
that my husband was shot,

and I still didn' still
didn't register in my head.

Like, someone came up
to me and said,

he was a...
he was a good man.

I was like, "What you mean,
he was a good man?"

And they was like,
"No, no, no, no, no.

That's not what she meant."

And I just broke down.

- He couldn't, you know,
say what he wanted to say

'cause he was in the bed
with tubes in his mouth

and blood coming down, and...

I just couldn't
hear his voice

telling me that he's okay.

- The doctors in there,
the mayor in there,

I'm like, what is...
this has got to be...this...

what's going on?

But no one, no one told me
he was shot in his head.

- I remember that night
I was at shock trauma.

- Questions?
- People had been telling us

that he was dead...
it hadn't been confirmed.

And there was
this great uncertainty

about what happened.

And my phone rang, and I got
a call from someone saying,

"This was a hit.

"He was gonna testify tomorrow
against the dirty cops."

It was someone I didn't know,

and they sounded
a little nutty.

So I kind of put that
in my back pocket.

- A massive presence
of federal agents

and Baltimore City Police
blanketed the area

around Bennett Place
in West Baltimore,

where Detective Sean Suiter

was shot in the head
earlier this week.

Police believe the killer
is still in Baltimore.

- The initial information that
we had to work our way through

was from Detective Bomenka,

who was obviously
traumatized by the fact

that he was just
with his partner,

at least his partner
that day, who was shot.

We were under the impression,
based on some tips that we got,

that a suspect was
on the loose in the community.

- Police had guns drawn,
waiting to move in,

and used an armored car as
they searched for a suspect.

[tense music]

♪ ♪

- We were held hostage
in these houses

for at least five to six days.

For us to be trapped...
even if the event took place,

it took place way up there.

- I remember being down
that street,

and there were snipers setting
up to raid some of these houses.

- Military tanks in this alley.

He had this sawed-off shotgun

out like this, like they
actually had a suspect!

- The regular people
in Harlem Park,

they had nothing
to do with any of this,

but the abuse that they were
willing to subject them to,

police that don't serve
and protect them,

police that abuse them...

who said, "Oh, we don't care
that we are supposed to be

constitutionally now.

Let's shut down Harlem Park."

And so they're easy targets.

- My name had came up
in a conversation that, uh,

dealing with Sean Suiter,

and that's when they came
and raided my house

November the 19th and took me
down for questioning.

- They trashed the house.

Our living room set.
Trashed everything.

We didn't get none
of that back...computers.

- We had a great deal
of trouble

all of the evidence.

When Sean Suiter
runs into that space,

Detective Bomenka
hears three gunshots.

Pop, pop, pause,
and then pop.

We couldn't find where
those bullets landed.

We couldn't locate a strike
mark from those bullets,

either in the ground
or on the adjacent walls.

Did they strike
another person?

We are absolutely certain
that the community will stand

with the Baltimore
Police Department

to bring this heartless,

soulless killer to justice.

[somber music]

♪ ♪

- Coming up in East Baltimore,
the streets was home.

So I hit the streets,
and I hit them hard,

and I've done everything
from selling crack to heroin

and back and forth again,

and I had some good times,
and I had some bad times.

And I made some really,
really good friends

that I thought
would last forever.

And one of them friends
put a gun right to my head.

So I've pretty much, like,
saw everything in the streets


in that time, you learn
about these police officers.

You learn about how they move
and how they operate.

You learn the intricate part
they play into the world

that...that we lived in.

I'm a person who has seen the
ugly side of law enforcement.

- It's now been 16 days since
the shooting of Sean Suiter.

It happened back there
where that blue tarp is,

back through this
very narrow little area,

with very little opportunity
for people to see

what may have
happened back there.

The Suiter case is not
the first time

the Baltimore Police Department
was criticized

for "sloppy scenes,"

for not having proper
incident command.

And, I mean, one of the
questions that exists right now

is, how come this department
can't get it right?

They didn't take photographs.

They didn't properly record
parts of the crime scene.

There were people traipsing in
and out of that scene at will.

The suicide theory,
which did come up today,

is just a possible theory.

The commissioner says it's not
a leading theory at all,

but it is under consideration.

There was this "mistake made"
about the entry wound,

allegedly by the hospital,

that identified the entry wound
as the left side of the head

as opposed to
the right side of head.

Well, if his gun...

if his radio is
in his left hand, which it was,

and he's right-handed,
think of what you have do

to get yourself
to get a gunshot wound

into the left side of the head
and kill yourself, okay?

So that information, which
they operated on for four days

until it was cleared up
at autopsy,

that, no, no, no, it's
the right side of the head

and it's a close contact
gunshot wound,

which is very indicative

of potentially
a self-inflicted wound.

So, for four days,
this investigation operated

on a false assumption.

And that is that he was shot
on the left side of the head.

- The suicide theory emerged

because there was factions
within the police department

that believed there was
a cover-up taking place,

that they were chasing
a phantom killer,

that they were having
a hero's funeral,

and they were offering
a giant reward

and tearing apart the city
looking for somebody

who didn't exist.

But once that emerged,

once that got into
the public domain,

people started to believe that
that was a cover-up,

that that was an attempt
for a police department

that was making no inroads

on solving the killing
of one of their own

and was trying to
sort of redirect people

and blame the officer himself.

Both views of the case
are grounded

in a distrust
of the police department.

- And so now you have,

was this a homicide,

or was this a suicide?

You're in that hole
without a lot of facts.

I think it quickly became,

well, which one do
we have evidence for,

and which one
do you believe?

I'm not paid to tell you
what I think.

I'm paid to tell you
what I know,

and we don't know shit
about this case.

- A week after Baltimore
detective Sean Suiter

was shot and killed,
the revelation

from the city's police
commissioner was stunning.

Suiter was set to testify
before a federal grand jury

the next day against
eight elite Baltimore officers

already indicted in a police
corruption investigation.

- And that was...


This certainly throws
a wrinkle on the case big-time.

- Suiter wasn't
just any officer

who was shot and killed.

He was also a federal witness
against other police officers.

- If I'm about to go to court

and you're supposed
to testify on me,

and now you're gone?

Come on.

- It was a lot of reporting
about what he knew,

what he didn't know,

what he was
going to testify to.

Was he going to get pulled
into this big, massive scandal?

Was he a dirty cop?
Was he a dirty cop?

Did he off himself
in an alley?

Is this suicide?

Or did someone along the way
in the police department

make sure he was killed

so he wouldn't testify
to what he knew?

We don't know.

Did he have
damning evidence

on other officers
in the department?

We don't know.

- You cannot add more drama
and conspiracy to this.

Being a media relations chief,

coming into an environment
where there is a big trust gap,

I'm trying to open up the doors
and give people a glimpse in

without compromising the
integrity of investigations,

which is also important.

We know that people
are clamoring for information.

We say so little, sometimes
it's not enough clarity.

- Are there any other

besides the detective's?

- We're not going to get
into those...

We're not getting
into all the specifics

of every piece of evidence
we have.

So it was just ripe
for conspiracy.

It comes to...
look at the partner.

The partner had something
to do with it.

It's like, come on.

When you know things
to be absolutely,

unequivocally false,

it's hard to sit back
and just listen to it.

You talk about frustrating
and upsetting, it's like...

people are
just making up stuff.

Literally making it up.

[somber piano music]

♪ ♪

- There is no information that
has been communicated to me

that Detective Suiter
was anything other than

a stellar detective,
great friend, loving husband,

and dedicated father.

When I asked the FBI
to take over the investigation,

I did so knowing that
if they had any information

or even a shred
of information

that this could have been
a conspiracy

to murder Sean Suiter that was
orchestrated by other cops,

if the FBI thought that
that was the case

for one millisecond,
in my opinion,

they would have taken over that
investigation in a heartbeat.

[indistinct chatter]

The fact that they did not
take over the investigation

was an indicator to me

that they didn't
believe that theory.

In the letter, it says,

"No information
has been developed to indicate

"Detective Suiter's death
was directly connected

to an FBI investigation."

- I think it's very strange
that the feds

did not get involved in the
investigation of the shooting.

This guy was killed the day

he's supposed to go testify
in a grand jury for you,

and he's dead
from a gunshot wound.

Like, why wouldn't that be
a federal case?

Leo Wise,
the Assistant U.S. Attorney,

told me that as soon
as he got the phone call

that Suiter had been shot,
he believed it to be a suicide.

I found that to be
a remarkable statement.

You wonder if that
has to do with the things

that they had heard
along the way about him.

- The information that was
given to me by the FBI

and the U.S. Attorney's office,

Sean Suiter was never
the target

of any of their
corruption investigations.

He was merely scheduled
to testify

in front of a grand jury

about an ongoing
corruption investigation.

They told me, in fact,
word for word,

"Sean Suiter was not
a dirty cop."

- March 1, 2017,
earlier that year,

seven members of
the Baltimore Police Department

are arrested.

- The case began
about a year ago.

It involved
a covert investigation.

The seven defendants
were members

of the Gun Trace Task Force.

I'm Sergeant Wayne Jenkins
of the Gun Trace Task Force.

- Their job was to go out
and get guns off of people

that were illegally
possessing them

and carrying them
on the streets of Baltimore.

Unfortunately, we found
out the methodology

they were using
to go out there and do it.

- The seven officers
are charged with racketeering.

Some of the suspects
face up to life in prison.

Others, decades in jail.

- They were robbing
drug dealers in the city

with precision
and investigatory skill.

They had black hockey masks,

fake guns that
they would place

into people's cars
to frame them.

It was a mob in the middle
of the city

run by
the Baltimore Police Department.

- Hey, come downstairs
right quick.

They about to get it open.

- They really got them.

I mean, they had them
on wiretaps.

Like, they had evidence, hard
evidence of what was going on.

- Do not...nobody touches...
You understand me right now?

- I'm keeping
the camera rolling.

- This video, taken in
March 2016, in the basement

of a Northeast Baltimore
drug dealer,

shows former Baltimore
sergeant Wayne Jenkins,

who led the
Gun Trace Task Force,

recording the discovery
of a safe they blasted open.

But federal prosecutors
say the video

was really a reenactment
to cover up the fact

another 200,000 was taken from
the same dealer by Jenkins

and other members
of the gun squad.

- This was seven officers,

it went on to be eight,
you know,

charged with just,
like, blatant corruption,

blatant misconduct.

Some of their best
and brightest,

some of their most efficient,

and they're being accused
of egregious crimes

over a long period of time.

We put this here to try
to visualize everybody,

to see how
they're connected.

You have these officers
who pleaded guilty

who are trying
to get lesser sentences.

Before he became
a homicide detective,

Suiter was working
with these guys.

Jenkins is the leader of the
squad when they get indicted.

Suiter had worked with Ward.
He'd worked with Jenkins.

He'd worked with Rayam
and Gondo at times.

Of course,
his grand jury testimony

was about a case
in which he and Jenkins

had arrested somebody.

So he was being asked
to come in to testify

before a grand jury
about his role in that.

- This is the case in which
Detective Sean Suiter

was scheduled to appear
before a grand jury,

the day after he was murdered.

Suiter was going to testify
about this scene

back in 2010 where
a high-speed chase

ended with a collision
with another car, killing one

and destroying this front porch
in Northwest Baltimore.

[uneasy music]

- On this particular day,
these police officers,

they saw a couple
Black guys in a car,

figured they might have
something on them.

"Let's take a run at them."

You can't do that,
but they did it,

and they did it every day...

all over the city.

- The only thing true about
that particular police report

was that we had a car accident
and somebody died.

Everything else was a lie.

♪ ♪

- This is the actual spot
that I was parked in.

I noticed

through my side view mirror

that a car was approaching.

There was two cars
that pulled up.

One pulled in the front,
and one pulled behind me.

- Wayne Jenkins and Ryan Guinn
were in the first car.

Detective Suiter
was in the rear car.

Like a car pulling up
not wanting to damage the car,

but it was more so,
I believe,

them to get us
tight in as possible

so they can do whatever it is

that they were
attempting to do.

Now the car in back
of me bumps me.

I turned my head to see, and
then I heard doors opening.

And that alerted
my attention to the front,

and they was actually out
the car with guns drawn,

with masks on their face, and
all I could see was their eyes.

- These were not police cars.

Our clients, of course,
would not know

that they were police cars.

There were no lights,
there were no sirens.

When they took off,
they genuinely believed

that they were being robbed.

- They know why we fled.

You know, we didn't know
who the hell they were.

They were right on our tail
the whole time.

The only thing we was thinking
about is our lives.

- I began to go on very fast
down Belle Avenue.

I could see another car
at a stop sign.

So I'm trying to turn away
from the car,

and we end up
turning the same way.

- Police say it was these two,

Umar Burley
and Brent Matthews,

who were fleeing police
and crashed into a car

on the corner
of Belle and Gwynn Oak Avenue,

killing the father of a
Baltimore City police officer.

- The officers,
they realized

they had a serious problem
on their hands.

It was a high-speed chase.

Couldn't justify the chase,
the stop, nothing.

Didn't find any drugs
in the car,

didn't find any weapons
in the car.

They jacked up
these two men

for no reasonable
articulable suspicion,

no criminality afoot.

So what did they do?

They got on the phone,
and they called in for heroin

to plant inside the vehicle.

My clients believed that
Gladstone was the officer

that showed up
with the heroin.

Matthews and Burley
were wrongly convicted

and sent to prison.

They framed Mr. Burley
and Mr. Matthews

to justify
their own criminality.

- 28 grams of heroin.

That's a lot of heroin
to just pop up in the car.


The depths that people go
through to save their own skin.

[uneasy music]

♪ ♪

- Sergeant Wayne Jenkins
was already a key player

in the Baltimore
police corruption case.

Now he faces
another 20 years in prison,

the result of new charges
that he planted drugs in a car

in 2010 to justify chasing
the driver and a passenger.

Sean Suiter was involved in the
original stop of the vehicle

and the chase,
the indictment says.

It suggests he was set up
to recover the drugs.

- Obviously
it was a concerted effort,

as they were blocked in.

Jenkins and Guinn got out
of the car with guns and masks.

It would be difficult to
imagine that the car back here,

that detective Suiter
wouldn't have seen that.

Unfortunately, you know,

we're never going to exactly
know who planted the drugs,

whether it was
Jenkins himself.

Jenkins denied planting them.

It could be Suiter...
we don't know.

Suiter was the one
that recovered them.

I'm not sure that you can
believe any of the officers

'cause it's all self-serving,

but we do know
they were working together.

♪ ♪

- Getting to the truth in
these incidents is difficult.

I think that there are people
lying on all sides.

We do not have
an independent eyewitness

between the officers
and Umar Burley.

One idea I had was to do
a public records request to see

if they would turn over
the dispatch audio,

so I got that today.

This audio
is from the moment.

This is real time,
what they were saying

before anybody knew that
this was going to happen.

I'm trying to figure out
how this...

was Wayne Jenkins
and Sean Suiter,

were they robbing people
with masks on

in the middle
of the day in 2010?

Because if that's true,

Sean Suiter
is incredibly corrupt.

Going back seven years
before his death,

he was rolling around the city

in the middle of the day
with masks on robbing people.



They actually
give the tag number

before the crash,
before the chase even.

There is no doubt about it.

They're discussing
stopping this guy on the radio

that other officers
are listening to.

I think that's telling.

If you're robbing somebody,
I don't know that you do that.

That's a good thing
for Sean Suiter's case

that he's not corrupt.

But that's with the caveat
that these guys lied,

they covered their tracks,
they knew how to do it.

So anything's possible.

- A car crash.

Guys, they're running,
trying to shoot each other.

There is a 911 call
from a citizen,

who is coming on to this
as it's happening.

And she sees a car crashed
into a fire hydrant.

She thinks it's regular
people just chasing

after each other with guns,
and...which is interesting.

I mean, if they had
their lights and sirens on,

wouldn't you know
that they were cops?

Three of them.

- The one with the gun had
on an orange sweatshirt?

- Right.

- There's things on this
that go towards one narrative

and things that go
towards the other narrative.

- Federal Prosecutors now say

Burley and Matthews
are innocent.

Today their convictions
were vacated.

- I may have been released,
but nothing has changed.

My life will never be
the same again.

- We've had,
as a firm, as a lawyer,

and as a resident
of Baltimore,

some familiarity
with these rogue police units.

But I had never seen
a situation

where the federal government
overtly made efforts

to pull someone out
of prison and release them.

- The federal judge called
their convictions

the result of
"raw, crude police corruption."

- The key player in the
investigation of Sean Suiter

is Wayne Jenkins...

because Suiter was the one

who was supposed to testify
against Jenkins.

You know, I would never say

that a person
committed a murder

unless I knew they did it.

I would never say a person
had ordered a murder

unless I knew they did it,

but what I will say is that
they're very capable of it.

Police officers kill people
all the time.

♪ ♪

If I was the suspect

I'm probably going
to go this way,

because that's too open
and that's too open.

This shit is too residential.

And I'm gone.

I'm gonna hit this corner,
and I'm gone.


They took the black jacket off

and put their police uniform
back on.

[chuckles] And then they just
went ahead about their business.

When I was a kid, right,

I had a real good friend
named D.I.,

and he got shot in the head.

He was holding a Walkman,
and the first thing he did

was drop the Walkman
before he hit the ground.

And that was the first thing
I thought about

when I started, like,
piecing together information

on what happened
to Sean Suiter.

You shoot yourself in the back
of your head, as they say,

and you still squeezing
your radio tight, it's just...

I don't know,
it's a little strange to me.

It doesn't really...
it doesn't sound right.

- I first heard
about D. Watkins...

I read a review
of one of his books

in "The New York Times."

I mean, I was interested
in an actual, authentic story

from somebody
who was in the game,

who was in the street,

who was sort of, I guess,
on the other side,

if that makes sense.

I think Sean Suiter
was killed

because he was going to testify
in front of a grand jury.

- What would you be thinking
in your office?

Would you be like,
"Yo, we got to look into this,"

or you'd just be like...

- I would be thinking,
who's left?

[chuckles] Who's left
from the Gun Trace Task Force

who hasn't been
federally indicted?

And I don't mean
the core group of guys.

I mean supervisors,

outside people, you know,

and the city police department
may not know.

Only the feds may know
that information.

But there's obviously
somebody else out there

with something to lose.

The Gun Trace Task Force
was making somebody look good

because they're bringing in
so many gun arrests.

And those commanders
don't want to know.

They don't want to know
what they're doing

to get all these guns.

They don't care.

They don't want to know
how the food's being made.

They just want to eat it.

- Suiter probably thought
the department had his back,

and they probably did, all
the way up until they didn't.

- But remember,

Suiter was testifying
to events back from 2010

when he worked with some of
the guys in another drug unit.

There are other people involved
in that scandal

that I'm sure are trying to
protect themselves at all costs.

[tense music]

♪ ♪

- A major development
from the witness stand

where former Baltimore City
Police detective Momodu Gondo

made a stunning admission.

He says Detective Sean Suiter

stole money
when the two worked together

in a specialized enforcement
unit a decade ago.

- Detective Gondo was,
I think, pretty unequivocal

that he had stolen money with
other officers for a long time,

and he described it as being
something that officers did

to sort of fit in,
to gain each other's trust.

That if I know that
you're stealing money

and you know that
I'm stealing money

then we've got
each other's back.

We're both in
on this together,

and he said he was stealing
money with Sean Suiter.

- Gondo was,
without question, reliable,

the most trustworthy,

truthful cooperator
that they had, and...

- Gondo said he was dirty
on the witness stand.

So, if you look at those weeks
leading up to November 15th,

what's Sean Suiter looking at

as he headed for that
grand jury appearance?

He knows that Momodu Gondo
has pleaded guilty.

He was cooperating
with the feds,

and he was willing to talk.

October 24th, the FBI
came to visit Sean Suiter.

He refused to be
interviewed by them,

and they delivered a subpoena
for him to appear

before the federal grand jury.

What we learned
after Suiter's death

is that Gondo told
the federal authorities,

while he was cooperating,
that Suiter was dirty.

There's a lot to look at.

- He's gone from an officer
who died in the line of duty

investigating a homicide
in a dangerous part of town

to having his whole history

is sort of
a shocking development.

- Before we be too judgmental,
you know,

I mean, it's enticing.

You know, you're dealing
with a dope dealer.

Who's going to believe him?

It's not like
he earned this money.

I mean, you know, it's greed.

It's greed
that's motivated this,

but, I mean, that's
what you see all over,

from top to bottom.

From Washington
to, you know, to Baltimore,

the motivating factor
was the greed.

[sirens blaring]

- Sean's death showed me how
cruel life can be sometimes.

And his love showed me
how life can also be good.

We just have a lot
of unanswered questions.

I always believe
someone seen something.

I always believe that.

Love you, Sean.

- There exists
a serious tug-of-war

the Baltimore Police Department

over what this case is.

The people advocating
the suicide theory say

the evidence
was mischaracterized

and it wasn't explained.

There was a suspect.

There was a guy seen with
a white stripe on his jacket.

It turns out, as more
information came along,

that that was somebody
that they had spotted

earlier in the afternoon.

And people say
that Detective Suiter,

maybe he sensed
that trouble was coming.

He's a father of five.

There's a financial incentive

to have the death
appear to be a murder...

that that would be
the kind of death

that his family would
continue to receive benefits.

If it's a straight-up

it's ruled that
and everybody knows it,

you don't get benefits.

You know, people
within the police department,

they're pointing to dirt
on his leg

and saying that that's proof
of a violent struggle.

Is that proof
of a violent struggle?

- Hold on, get his legs,
get his legs.

- We should wait
for the medic.

- Transport him in a car.
Officer's down.

Officer down.

- I actually attended
the academy with Sean Suiter.

Really quiet guy,
really nice.

Always, like, you know...
even though he's quiet,

he was always smiling,
easy to get along with.

I would cross paths
with him here or there,

and we remembered each other
from the academy

and would kind of like, just
like, "Hey, what's going on?"

In Internal Affairs, I handled
all specialized units,

which would've included
units Sean Suiter was in.

So I never saw his name
in a complaint.

I never heard of him
being involved in a complaint.

I never heard a supervisor
or another cop

ever say anything negative
about Sean.

He's just a guy
I could never imagine even...

even doing anything wrong.

I know for a fact
that there are plenty

of corrupt cops
within the department,

because I investigated
some of them

and they remain
in that department.

Jenkins waited for me

after work one day
at Internal Affairs

because I was investigating
some of his guys.

And he, like, corners me
in the parking lot,

and he's, like,
right up in my face.

Like, I thought he was
going to hit me.

Like, that was it,
we were going to go.

Mentally I just broke.
I couldn't take it anymore.

I attempted suicide twice.

I mean, for years, I had been
sort of struggling

with what the mission
of the police department was.

I was afraid to speak up

about a lot of the things
I had seen.

I was investigating cases
where I felt like

maybe I was in danger,

you know, retaliation
from cops I was investigating.

I finally realized, I mean,
I can't work in the police...

I can't stay.
I just had to quit.

It was going to kill me.

It was going to kill me
one way or the other.

[dark music]

I just didn't understand
how shitty cops

get through that department
unscathed, unpunished,

and Sean lost his life
in that department.

♪ ♪

- When I became the Baltimore
Police Commissioner in 2015,

I was on Larry Young's
morning talk show on WOLB.

He said, "Make sure you rent
and don't buy."

The mayor, Catherine Pugh,

wanted Sean Suiter's

to be solved in a hurry.

She saw it as a stain
on her mayoral administration,

and she grew
growingly frustrated with me

that it wasn't solved,

and I grew
growingly frustrated with her

that she was interfering
with the integrity

of a murder investigation.

- It has been a revolving door

at the top
of the Police Department.

This is the third
commissioner since 2015.

- Commissioner Kevin Davis

was fired in January.

And the Mayor installed

Darryl De Sousa
as Commissioner.

One of my topics
to talk to him about

was the Sean Suiter case.

Do you have an idea
of what you think happened?

- I have an idea I'm not
going to share it right now,

but I can tell you that
I am bringing a independent,

outside source to come
in and take a look at it.

- And that was the big headline
that came out of that

was the new commissioner
was going to push forward

on an independent review board
on the Sean Suiter case.

- We all went up
to the police headquarters,

and they put on a big
dog-and-pony show for us

about who's going to be looking
into this and who's that.

Everyone had a great résumé.

There's some old homicide cops
on there from BPD,

police officers
from around the country.

- It's an open criminal

requiring confidentiality.

- They said they are not going
to reinvestigate the homicide.

They're going to look
at everything around it.

And they said,
"But it's not going to be done

"out in the public,

"so we're gonna vote
to close the meeting,

and then that's the last thing
we're gonna hear."

- I want to thank you all
for coming

and for being so cooperative.

Thank you all very much.

- And then
sandwiches came,

and all of the journalists
had to go.

People want to know
what happened,

and they're going to try
to put something together

to make people
feel comfortable.

You know,
they got to have a story,

'cause you can't let
a cop die without a story,

not in America, definitely
not in Baltimore City.

[somber music]

♪ ♪

- Could you talk to us
a little bit

just about your client's state
of mind right now?

- Well, as he said in court,
Mr. Ward is very remorseful,

very sorry
about what happened.

- What happened?

- Wayne Jenkins received
25 years in prison.

It was not the maximum.

He turned around
and faced the crowd,

and for several minutes
apologized for his conduct.

He was sobbing.

His voice was cracking

- I'm sorry for your loss.

- Thank you.

- When I look at the whole
case as presented,

the most shocking thing to me

was on April 27, 2015,

when the drug stores
were being burned and looted,

Jenkins was stealing the drugs.

He was looting the looters.

Trash bags full
of stolen pharmaceuticals.

You talk about brazen.

A Baltimore police sergeant
in charge

of an elite
Gun Trace Task Force

was looting.

I mean, we had to have the
National Guard come in here.

That really kind of sums up
the brazenness

with which this group
of people operated.

- In Baltimore, there was
a Viking-like mentality

for many, many years
that encouraged

the slippery slope behaviors

that that Gun Trace Task Force
went down.

We tend to give those
all-star cops a pass

because they do what?

They go out,
they hunt, they gather,

they bring back bad guys
and drugs

and guns and search warrants
and cash.

- He didn't deserve this.
He was a good person.

You're either a good person
or a bad person.

He was a good person.

- The first time I ever
got kicked in the ribs

by a cop when I was
laying on the ground

for saying something
slick out my mouth,

this officer,
his name was Daniel Hersl.

This hero, that was him.

[overlapping shouting]

- I was in my 20s,
early 20s,

and he kicked the shit
out of me.

And I'm like, "Bitch..."
[chuckles] Right?

But you can't do nothing.

♪ ♪

People in the neighborhood,
they knew Hersl.

They knew Hersl wanted money...
all the time.

It's like
he always had a bill due.

Daniel Hersl should have, like,
$100 million buried somewhere

'cause he was always
on the prowl.

And as you can tell by the big
smile on Danny Hersl's face,

they are having a good time,

and this is just
boxes of stuff

they're stealing out
of these people's apartment.

- So, when my editor
first asked me

to get into the human side
of Danny Hersl,

I was like, "Yo, fuck that."

He lost his ability
to be defined as a human

when he started
fucking robbing and stealing

and ripping off taxpayers
while we pay his salary.

So it's like, how do you
get to be a human?

I thought that was like some
classic white privilege shit.

You know, you do some evil shit,
and we got to say,

"Oh, he was a lone wolf.
Oh, he was tortured."

You know, I was like,

how the fuck
am I going to do that?

But then I had
to sit back and realize,

well, you know what?

[chuckles] D. Watkins,
you did some fucked-up things.

You know,
you ran these streets,

and you did
all this wild stuff,

so you don't deserve
to be treated as a human.

There's no shot
at redemption for you.

I'm from East Baltimore,

and Daniel Hersl
is from East Baltimore.

I like difficult.

This is a chance
to define a cultural moment

and tell the story of two boys
from East Baltimore

who completely
had opposite paths.

I started out in the street,

and I ended up
as a college professor.

He started out
as a police officer

and then ended up doing
18 years in federal prison.

[indistinct shouting]

Danny Hersl and I have
a whole lot of parallels.

We both lost family members.

We went to some
of the same schools.

Some of his friends
who I got to talk

said that he was a loyal guy.

He was a person that was down
to do whatever for his friends.

I didn't sign up
for something easy.

Talking about race and trying
to see humanity in a person

that has been a devil to you
and a devil

to a whole lot of people
you know isn't an easy task.

- Hey, you the author, right?
- Yeah, what's up?

- You came to my school.
- What school you go to?

- I go to City.
I like your book, man.

- Thank you,
I appreciate it.

Hersl and I are both victims
of the drug war.

He was on one side.
I was on the other side.

Did he have a chance
to know right from wrong?

Yeah, he did.
But he chose wrong.

Did I have chances to know
right from wrong?

Yes, I did,
and I chose wrong

until I felt like it was time
for me to choose right.

It's just like musical chairs.
I chose before I fell.

I take personal responsibility
for my actions,

just like I think he should
take personal responsibilities

for his actions.

But the one thing that me
and that clown have in common

is that
we both did what we saw.

That's what we saw, that's what
we saw people doing around us,

so that's what we tried to do.

- The eighth largest police
department in the country

in turmoil tonight.

- Darryl De Sousa is done.

The commissioner of just four
months resigned this morning

as he battles federal charges
of willfully

not filing his taxes
for three years.

- I tell you,
when De Sousa was made chief,

I got a list of questions
from the press

that involved his vetting,

and I remember calling
City Hall and saying,

"Hey, we have answers
to these?"

I mean, some of them
were so basic.

It seemed to be
an emotional selection

without due diligence.

All of this
could have been avoided.

- The truth is that the mayor
of Baltimore controls

the Baltimore Police Department
to a large extent.

Everything goes back
to the political leadership,

the political
"misleadership" class

that seems to always
be in office.

People have been interested

more in
currying favor with power

than they have
with elevating the people

that needed their support.

The fact that this city
has basically bled dry

entire communities
for decades,

giving people nothing,

inadequate education,
not even a trash pickup.

There's no economic engine
in many communities

intentionally for a long time
other than the drug trade.

That isn't the fault
of the people.

That's the political

creating that environment.

- We're awaiting
the final report

from the independent
review board.

I'm sure everybody in town is
going to be trying to get it

before it comes out,
myself included,

but we're just waiting.

[rising music]

♪ ♪

- Come on, man!
Killed himself?

Get the hell out of here.
That's bullshit.

- The safest thing
for Baltimore is to say,

"Police officers would never
kill another cop, never.

"They would never
kill another cop.

They'll never do that.
Suiter killed himself."

And that maintains
the narrative

that I'm working
so hard to dismantle.

- And what we now learn,

he wasn't just going
to testify as a witness.

He was testifying
under limited immunity,

which is a very different
kind of witness.

He wasn't so-called "target"

of the GTF investigation,
but he was a "subject" of it.

It means that the feds
didn't really know

what he knew or did.

- They released it the night

before they had
a press conference.

And along with it,
they released a piece of video

that I had been trying
to get my hands on forever.

They released
an audio clip

of Sean's
last audio transmission.

- [shouting indistinctly]

- Which was unintelligible,

but there's still some
sound there, you know, and...

- [shouting indistinctly]

- That was interesting to me.

And then I read the report.

And, you know, it was rumored

that it was going to
come out as suicide,

and then you read it
in black and white

where the IRB board said,

"We conclude
that this is suicide."

And I looked at that,
and I was like,

"Okay, now show me...
show me where it's at."

And so I read that report
three times that night.

I didn't see anything new...

no new physical evidence,

nothing to suggest that they
can conclude unanimously

that Sean Suiter
killed himself.

It wasn't there for me
as a reporter.

- Uh-huh, okay.
Thank you very much.

I'll call you
if there's anything...

I reached out to former
commissioner Kevin Davis.

I don't know, in any other town,
this might be shocking,

but he completely condemned
the police department,

and he said that there is
a culture there that,

you know, they were
culturally trying to,

you know, cover this up
because they couldn't handle

not being able
to solve the case.

He also said that he refused
to meet with the full board

because he didn't trust members
of the police department

who were on the board.

That's a pretty
shocking statement

from somebody who ran
the place for three years.

He is an outsider, and he ran
the place for three years,

and he's basically
telling the public

you can't trust
anybody over there,

and they are going
to sort of juke this case

to what they want it to be.

That's coming from someone
who ran the place

and saw it
from the inside out.

[gentle music]

- Questions?

- Mayor, do you accept
the finding of self-inflicted?

- Well, let me just say this...
you know, first of all,

you know, my condolences
are still with the family.

I'm also looking
forward to hearing

from the review committee
as well, you know,

because I think there needs
to be a thorough understanding

of their own findings.

- There's no question that
the Independent Review Board

that reviewed the evidence
in the case

and the facts of the case
has placed a lot of weight

on the connection
to the Gun Trace Task Force case

to the death of Sean Suiter.

- The commissioner says,
"Okay, there was a man

in a black leather jacket."

- Right, and that is what
the report says.

And the report reveals that
there were some inaccuracies.

- Knowing what you know now,
do you regret

the hero's funeral
with public road closings

and a vast PR campaign
surrounding it?

- Well, I didn't
orchestrate that,

so let me just say that,
again, these are findings

that are still being reviewed
and will be shared.

- So you don't feel at any point
that you were misled

by anyone
on the police department?

- I think we all...
well, according to this report,

we've all been misled.

- To hear someone totally drag
your homeboy, man...

Like, he just...

That's not him.

Like, to hear that from
people that didn't know him...

It was...
it was jacked up.

It was a jacked-up day.

- The physical evidence
definitely takes you

to a self-inflicted

But when you really think
about the case,

either you've got Sean Suiter

who needs to make
his suicide look like murder,

and if he is targeted
because of what he may know

about other activities
of other officers,

you've got someone who needs
to make his murder

look like suicide.

- There wasn't ever supposed
to be a conclusion

drawn from the IRB.

I was shocked
when I found out

that there was
an actual conclusion.

[car horn honks]

- Can you address people
who may be looking at this

saying this is a really
far-fetched scenario?

- The totality of the evidence,
not individually,

but the totality
of the evidence

builds a compelling case

that the conclusion
is very well supported,

and there is unanimity
on all recommendations,

all findings, all conclusions
that were made in the report.

- To what extent
did your investigators

look at the theory
that many in the community

are saying this was a hit
put on Suiter by the BPD?

- I refer you to the report.

It turns out that we
were able to exactly time

sort of the sequence of events

and there was a total
of eight seconds

when somebody
wasn't being observed,

and you couldn't get in,
do that,

put the evidence in,
raise the arm up,

close the arm...
it was not possible.

- I just want to clear up
a factual matter.

It says that Hersl had pleaded
guilty and agreed to cooperate.

But he was one of the two
who didn't plead guilty.

Was there a mistake?

- No, I believe
it's the same Hersl.

- This is a big mistake.

This is a fairly
large public trial

that we all covered,
that he went to trial,

and it went on for weeks,

but it says in here
that he pled guilty.

But beyond that, did you guys
also interview other people

in his family or in his life
to help state of mind

that this grand jury may not
have been the only thing

that was stressing him out
to make him commit suicide?

- Let me just say this,
you know,

we followed the information,
and we followed the facts.

We do not attempt to understand
what his state of mind was

when he took
the actions that he did.

We can't surmise that
about Detective Suiter.

We can't.

- I didn't know
about the factual error

that was in the IRB report,
a big one.

I don't like embarrassment.
I don't like being wrong.

This shit should be right,

This is not just a report.

This is somebody's life.

We're about to tell
someone's family

that we don't believe
your husband was killed.

We believe he did it himself.
Oh, sorry for this fact.

No, no, no, it's no margin
for error for that.

- Based on the fact
that no one knew my husband

better than I did,

I will not accept
the untimely death of Sean

as nothing other
than a murder...

which has been covered up

for reasons unbeknownst
to me or my family.

Sean did not deserve
to die in this manner,

and no one deserves
to get away with this.

- Nicole knew
that there were wolves.

I saw an effort
by certain individuals

within the Baltimore City
Police Department

to demonize Sean,

to turn him into another one
of these shadowy GTTF figures.

What does the Baltimore City
Police Department

have to gain
by lying about Sean?

- What do you think
is going on here?

Why do you think
this is happening?

- To be honest, I don't know
why this is happening.

But something's happening.

- There is nothing
to indicate to me

that he took his own life.

I am the one who reached out
to the U.S. Attorney's Office

and requested immunity.

He was not worried about
his involvement in this case.

The U.S. Attorneys handling
the investigation

made it clear to me
that they saw Sean

as a witness
to the Umar Burley case,

not a suspect.

Now I'm trying to make sure
that two things happen...

that his family gets benefits
and that somebody

actually investigates
his fucking murder,

which I really don't think
are two big things to ask.

[siren wails]

- The intricate plan
on staging this

for insurance purposes
just bothers me the most.

As Black families,
we just go through shit.

We go through shit.

We go through shit,
and then we go through shit

while we're getting
through other shit

that we're going through...
that's not strange.

He wasn't some corporate guy
on Wall Street

running a foundation.

He was a fucking cop.
He's in the street.

He's seen pain.
He's been through shit.

So to tell me that he can't
stomach doing a little three,

four years in the joint,
come on, man.

- Your partner is close by
in daylight...

in a fairly populated
part of town,

and you are going
to contort yourself

in a way that makes it
look like someone killed you,

but you're killing yourself.

You're going to fire
three shots,

two of them randomly

and then the third
into the back of your head.

If you wanted to kill
yourself on the job

specifically to get
the benefits to your family,

there are a million other
easier ways to do this

than to concoct
this incredible scene here.

What's at stake here
is Nicole Suiter

and her family
and this man's legacy.

What's at stake here
is maybe their benefits,

which could total
a half a million dollars.

What's at stake here is
how this man is remembered.

- It just don't make sense.
He had no reason.

He wasn't involved
in anything.

Tell me he was involved
in something.

The only thing
Sean probably guilty of

is knowing that
his partners was dirty

and didn't turn 'em in.

If he's guilty of anything,

that's the only thing
he's guilty of.

I'm not angry
at the police department.

I just want justice
for my husband.

I don't think
I'll be able to get that

with a lot of anger
in my heart.

- People are still,
still working the case.

Like I said,
I stay away from it

because of how close I am.

What's up, player?

I was good this morning,
you know?

Just interesting
because this case right here

that I'm on out here for

is a case we were working
on together, you know?

Damn, I wasn't trying even to...

Come on, man.

All right, champ,
get me together.

Let's get this going.

All right.
[sniffles] Sorry about that.

All right, so, yeah...

it's kind of rough.

[uneasy music]

♪ ♪

- I want to go
where he was killed,

so the community down there
can remember Sean.

I want it to resurface

so his killing
don't go in vain.

- In a quarter mile,
make a right turn.

[sirens wail]

♪ ♪

- Waking up this morning
was kind of hard.

Getting myself together
was kind of hard.

Just reopening wounds
all over again.

Doesn't seem like
it's been a year, though.

- That day, we were
going to go out together.

I didn't know that he was set
to testify at the grand jury

in this GTTF shit,
and some people were like,

"Well, you're his partner.
Why wouldn't he tell you?"

That's something
that he had to deal with.

I didn't know about it.

I didn't know.

- My husband was never
a coward to commit suicide.

Let's just say that Sean,

if he was involved
in something,

which he wasn't, he's going to
take his punishment like a man.

- Being there that day
at the vigil,

it was a strange feeling
because it was no feeling.

It hurt for so long
that it just...

the pain couldn't be any more.

- Sean is all right.

Sean has made that journey
that we all have to make.

- [sobbing]

- Brian unveils
new information tonight

that Suiter's attorneys say
further discredits

the suicide theory.

- This is Sean Suiter.

Taken just days before
a review board says

he killed himself.

The last intimate moment
Nicole and her husband shared.

She texted this video
to him an hour

before he was shot on
November 15th last year.

He called, they laughed,

he said he would
stay up for her

when she got home
from her night shift.

The main theory of this
independent review board

is that the day
Sean killed himself,

he chose
a junior homicide detective.

I guess the implication
is that he wouldn't know

what Sean was doing.

That was their theory.

- Did it sound like
they were coming from up?

- It sounded like it came
just from the alley.

That corner...
it's all T'd off.

It was vibrating
back and forth.

I didn't see the shooter.
I didn't hear any cars.

I didn't see
any cars speed off.

I didn't see anybody run.

- I come to find out
that it wasn't

Sean's case that they were
on the street for.

It was that
junior detective's case,

and there's paperwork
to that effect.

In fact,
it was David Bomenka

who had the more active case
on that block.

It partly relied
on the witness testimony

of a woman in the 900 block
of Bennett Place.

The documents show she was
located on the morning

Suiter was shot
but refused to cooperate

with the homicide
operations team

dispatched to bring her in.

Sources close
to the investigation say

Detective Bomenka was then
ordered to return to the block

later that day and convince
the witness himself

and that Sean Suiter
was simply

the only other detective
available to go with him.

- "Take Suiter with you,"

because Sean was
the only guy on the floor.

That's what sources
have told me,

and I've confirmed that
three or four different times,

which questions
the IRB's conclusion

that Suiter pushed
to go out there that day

and work with a rookie cop
in order to kill himself.

[keys clacking]

- It's a big sticking point
for Suiter's supporters

that, you know,
the IRB got it wrong.

It discredits the IRB's work
in that regard.

I don't know that the whole
theory disintegrates.

- In concluding Sean Suiter
took his own life,

an independent review board
cited the lack of evidence

of a second person through
DNA testing or fingerprints.

Now we've learned
there is DNA evidence

that could suggest
a second person.

It was found
on Suiter's gun,

according to a source familiar
with the investigation,

and does not belong to Suiter.

But it is not traceable.

It has not been linked
to a specific person.

- All of these
different reporters, you know,

"Suiter's DNA
is here and there.

There's another DNA.
There's no DNA."

There's no,
you know, whatever.

And all of the information
coming from the police

makes perfect sense

if your department's
not full of liars.

- Hey, is there anything
going down

that I should know about?

Yes, really?

Okay, can you fill me in
so I'm not behind the 8 ball?

Fuck, I had no idea
how to confirm that.



There's going to be
a big report tonight.

Before you got here,

our former police commissioner
pleading guilty,

and now this is going on.

- It remains one
of the biggest open wounds

from last year's record-setting
violent-crime rate...

the death of homicide
Detective Sean Suiter,

shrouded in mystery, a litany
of unanswered questions.

Tonight this is at least
one of the leads

police gathered in the weeks
after his shooting.

This is an interview

inside the Baltimore Police
Department's Homicide Section

on December 8, 2017.

The man being interviewed
is Donte Pauling,

picked up
on a gun possession charge

three weeks after the death

of homicide detective
Sean Suiter.

- This is a hard-core leak.

- Pauling tells these officers

he heard what happened
to Sean Suiter

and began detailing
how he knew the guy

who knew how it happened.

This is the video released

by the independent review
board this summer.

That is Suiter
behind the van.

The IRB used this video as
evidence to say he was pacing,

working up the courage
to jump into the alley

and shoot himself.

But Pauling is now
telling detectives this is

when Suiter decided
to run into the alley

to confront a suspect
leaning over his drug stash,

gun drawn in plain clothes.

Pauling never did
get the man's name

who allegedly
overpowered Suiter

and killed him
with his own service weapon.

- We still didn't even know

it was an officer yet...

- What is unclear is
what ever came of this tip.

It is important to note
that the IRB report says

police ran down 54 tips

and that
"all leads were exhausted,"

but the report does not mention
this lead specifically.

- All right,
I got to make a phone call.

Tell me why this wasn't
a credible tip

so I can offer another side
of the story.

I'm like, you can't
"no comment" this.

People are gonna...
people are so distrusting.

You've got to say something.

[uneasy music]

♪ ♪

- We have, notoriously,

one of the most corrupt
police forces in the country.

There is still
a great deal of denial.

In a culture where there is
not only no duty to report,

no protection
for whistleblowers,

there's actually
a coercion to go along.

Good officers that go
into the department

idealistically thinking,

"I'm going to be
a good officer,

I'm going to serve
and protect the community,"

they go into this system,

and they have superiors
that are part of this culture,

and they are pressured
to conform to the culture.

♪ ♪

- It's very rare for any police
officer in Baltimore City

that's in the streets
to be squeaky clean.

Everybody got some dirt
on them.

That's why nothing
ever gets done.

- I'm with Detective Rayam
here approaching this vehicle,

this Honda minivan...

- Sean Suiter
worked with Wayne Jenkins.

I know Sean Suiter
had warned

Gondo and Rayam about working
with Wayne Jenkins.

That means he knows
Jenkins is dirty.

If you telling Gondo
and you telling Rayam,

"Yo, look out for Jenkins.

Watch him.
He up to something," right?

But you don't really say
nothing to the powers that be,

then you a part of the problem,
straight up.

One of the questions
that I get hit with a lot

is the amount of Black
police officers we have

and the amount
of Black politicians.

The problem is the system
is racist.

The people are pawns.

We knew this for years.

You know, even when, like,
some other publications

write about them,

they still think that
it's maybe, like, a handful,

but it's more than a handful,
it's large groups,

because it's a tradition
in America for police officers

to treat Black people
a certain kind of way...

devilish, evil, steal, oppress,

anger, aggression, bullshit.

It's what they do,
so, like, we know this.

So we know
it's not over yet.

- I never intended
to do anything

that could not stand up
to scrutiny.

- Number 51 is on the books.


Bernard C. "Jack" Young

was sworn in
as Baltimore's next mayor

in front
of a standing-room-only crowd

at the War Memorial Building...

- In my lifetime,
nothing has ever changed.

Like, I've seen so many mayors
come through this city.

I've seen so many politicians
come through my neighborhood,

knock on my door,
knock on this door

and talk
about what they gonna do,

and nothing has happened.

Everybody wants change, right?

When we talking about change,
it's a slow hustle.

It takes a long time.

It means all of the work
and the time it takes

for you to move the ball
forward just an inch.

- In the news tonight,

The Baltimore City
Police Department

says the case is closed.

Detective Sean Suiter
killed himself

two years ago in Harlem Park.

- It was a statement
few saw coming,

brief and with no context,

issued by the city
police commissioner.

Case closed.

- If the commissioner thought
he was putting an end

to all this with his statement
yesterday, he did anything but.

- I just want to know
how many times

y'all gonna kill my husband?

This is an embarrassment
to our family, his friends.

We ready for war.

Like my lawyer said,
we ready for war.

- If that's how they want it,
then they better be ready.

- We're not wearing
these shirts for nothing.

- Baltimore's top prosecutor
says this case is not over.

- With all open
and pending matters,

I cannot ethically comment
on them.

- The State's Attorney's office
did not respond to our question

about what
they may be pursuing.

- So open and pending
meaning there is

an investigation
by your office.

- It is an open
and pending matter.

- That was all
the State's Attorney

would say today,

but for its part, the office
of the chief medical examiner

says Suiter's death
does remain a homicide.

- The chief medical examiner

said that he had some
real concerns about the case.

He noted the fact
that the casings

couldn't definitively
be linked to the gun,

just that they were
the same type of gun.

He said it just
wasn't good enough,

but the biggest thing
for him was that

Suiter had gone
through their training

on how to tell the difference
between a homicide

and a suicide.

Shooting yourself
in the head,

Suiter would have known
that's a clear sign

that someone
shot themselves

and that he wouldn't have
done it that way.

He would have shot himself
in the chest

because that is less likely
to appear as a suicide.

So the chief medical examiner

felt as though the way
he did it was, in some ways,

too obvious of a suicide
to be a suicide.

all: Give us the shooter...
- For Sean Suiter!

all: Give us the shooter...
- For Sean Suiter!

all: Give us the shooter...
- For Sean Suiter!

all: Give us the shooter...
- For Sean Suiter!

all: Give us the shooter...
- For Sean Suiter!

all: Give us the shooter...
- For Sean Suiter!

- My husband
did not kill himself.

It was a homicide,
not a suicide.

- Where are the police today?

Where are the people that said
they were his friends?

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- I want you to look around
and tell me where the mayor is.

I want you to tell me
where the commissioner is,

because I assure you
they're all standing behind me

looking out of the damn window.

all: Justice!

- And I never knew that
when we got the call

this same day two years ago
that two years later

we would still be fighting
the same battle.

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- Sean deserves...
all: Justice!

- Sean deserves...

[somber music]

♪ ♪

- Did Sean Suiter
kill himself?

Did somebody
in the alley shoot him?

Was it a hit

from the Baltimore City
Police Department?

At the end of the day,
Sean has joined a list

of a whole lot
of Black people in the city

whose killing
will never be solved

because the system is broken

and it has been
for a long time.

[indistinct chatter]

- Push it back, push it back.

- And we keep doing the same
things to try to fix it.

Elect a new mayor,
hire a new police commissioner,

hire 10,000
brand-new police officers.

They all come in and
subscribe to the same shit.

[indistinct chanting]

Poor leadership
breeds revolutionaries,

and we just got to be there
to pick up the pieces.

♪ ♪

- Give me my kiss.


- ♪ Tired of being strong ♪

♪ In the face of wrong ♪

♪ I'm looking
for the answers ♪

♪ Nobody givin' chances ♪

- ♪ Tired of being strong ♪

♪ In the face of wrong ♪

♪ I'm looking
for the answers ♪

♪ Nobody givin' chances ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Nobody givin' chances ♪

♪ Ohh ♪

♪ Nobody givin' chances ♪

♪ ♪

[bright tone]