BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Attorney General’s Office is delaying the release of body camera footage in the fatal shooting of a man by Harford County deputies in April.
The Independent Investigations Division of the AG’s office, which is tasked with investigating fatal police shootings in Maryland, is delaying the release to “carry out an appropriately thorough investigation and conduct untainted interviews.” The division typically releases body camera footage within two weeks.
Two deputies responded around 3 p.m. on April 23 to an area near a shopping center at Rock Spring Road at Spenceola Parkway for a report that a suicidal man with a long gun was in the area, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office said.
The deputies had phone conversations with the man and searched for him for about an hour before finding him behind a CVS, said Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler in a press conference. He did not say what prompted the deputies to fire their weapons, killing 53-year-old John Raymond Fauver.
It is unclear if one or both deputies opened fire.
Attorney General Brian Frosh had to attain a temporary restraining order to prevent the Harford County Sheriff’s Office from interfering in the state’s investigation into Fauver’s death.
Gahler had refused to allow state police investigators to collect evidence from the scene of the shooting and did not share evidence collected by its own investigators within 48 hours, Frosh’s office said. The attorney general also alleged that HCSO refused to hand over body camera video.
The sheriff argued that state investigators were welcome to review the material at the sheriff’s office headquarters. He voiced concerns that the state could release video too early and taint the investigation.
“The Attorney General has gone way beyond the bounds of the law in issuing protocols that aren’t supported by the law,” Gahler said in April. “If they’re in possession of (Body Worn Camera video) and they decide to release it outside the wishes of the State’s Attorney, that is certainly something, I believe, contrary to law, but contrary to being able to conduct a complete and unbiased investigation.”
Frosh’s office said Monday that once the release of the video will not compromise the investigation, the IID will make the body-worn camera footage publically available.