Cop suspended amid abuse allegations

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - A veteran Baltimore City homicide detective has been suspended, and an investigation is underway, into whether he abused his authority.

Detective Daniel Nicholson was one of the lead detectives in the high-profile case of Phylicia Barnes -- a teenager who went missing in December of 2010, and whose body was eventually found in the Susquehanna River.

Now Det. Nicholson's career is in jeopardy -- after the search for another teen -- his daughter.

Last week Baltimore City police sent out a flyer, asking for help in locating the 15-year-old girl.

The detective lives in Baltimore County, so county police began their own investigation.

"On Friday, he reported to us that his daughter was missing, so we had been handling that missing persons case throughout the weekend," said Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Police Department.

It's not the first time there have been issues between the detective and his daughter.

In September of last year, County Police investigated a complaint of abuse.  Charging documents indicate that the detective had discovered his daughter had a Facebook page, which she was not allowed to have.

Police say he took her out of school, brought her home and used a coaxial cable to beat her.

"As a result of that investigation, we charged him with second-degree assault. That case has been adjudicated; the charge was dropped by the state's attorney when the family agreed to go through mediation," Armacost said.

The detective has been suspended by City Police in connection for what they call a very serious allegation – that he abused his police powers, by entering an apartment over the weekend while searching for his daughter.

Police are investigating Det. Nicholson -- and also whether any supervisors knew about his activities.

Det. Bob Cherry, the head of Baltimore City police union told ABC-2 news:  "I have known Detective Nicholson for his entire career and he is a good cop.  He clearly cares about his daughter and put effort into locating her and bringing her home."

Det. Nicholson could be facing administrative action with the police department, as well as criminal charges.

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