Baltimore police investigate another training incident

Comes months after recruit was shot in the head

BALTIMORE (WMAR) -  

It was Tuesday when four senior instructors and six detectives, all with the Baltimore City Police Department, came to Camp Fretterd in Reisterstown, a National Guard facility.

The team was involved in a room-clearing exercise.  What happened there gives the department another black eye. 

"The instructors there that day made a critical safety error where they used the normal guns that were assigned on the street as opposed to training guns," said Deputy Commissioner John Skinner, who oversees Special Operations. 

The officers unloaded the guns, but Skinner says that's not the point.  Following an accident in February, where Raymond Gray was shot in the head, new policies were put into place to use clearly marked training weapons.  A. Dwight Pettit is filing a civil lawsuit for Gray.

"If you talk about a negligence that is being allowed to continue that obviously in the depositions is going to raise the questions why and who's in charge," said Pettit.    

Gray was a recruit from the University of Maryland Police Department, who was trained by Officer William Kern with the city.  Kern was indicted on second degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Out of the case, came the talk of change.

"In spite of the new policies that we've implemented, there were decisions made really to take a short cut," said Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez, who oversees the Professional Standards and Accountability Bureau.   

Deputy Commissioners Skinner and Rodriguez will lead an investigation, but they aren't saying how they found out about the incident in the first place. 

Pettit says Gray's life will never be the same, and he hopes practical changes come from his severe injuries.

"He will have significant injuries that will stay with him for the rest of his life, whether he can ever aspire to in fact be in law enforcement or a police officer again in life is very questionable," said Pettit.    

Pettit says he will file that civil lawsuit against the department next week.  At the same time, the city's mobile training has been suspended while another investigation gets underway.

No officers have been suspended in light of the recent incident.

 

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