- The Washington Times - Monday, November 25, 2002

The execution-style slaying of an off-duty Baltimore police detective this past weekend rattled a police force that has become the target for a new breed of violent thugs.
Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley said the fatal attack was yet another blow to the city's embattled police department. "This has been a really rough stretch for us," he said.
It was the third incident in eight days in which Baltimore police have been hit by gunfire; five were wounded.
"It seems like lately it has been more dangerous for us," said Sgt. Mike Lear of the Baltimore Police Department homicide unit.
"Years ago, it seemed like there was more respect for policemen. But it's a different generation now," he said. "They are becoming more brazen it's drugs. It's mostly drugs."
Three men are accused of ambushing Detective Thomas Newman, 37, as he and a girlfriend walked out of Joe's Tavern in southeast Baltimore about 1:50 a.m. Saturday.
Two of the men gunned him down without warning. One gunman stood over the detective as he lay on the sidewalk and repeatedly shot him, police said.
Detective Newman was shot three times in the chest, and at least one bullet was found in his heart. The girlfriend was not injured, police said.
Police said the motive for the shooting was retaliation.
Detective Newman, a 12-year veteran of the force, was shot in the neck last April by the half-brother of one of his accused murderers.
Police said the men hunted him down and shot him execution-style as payback for the detective's court testimony that sent the half-brother to prison.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward Norris said detectives were "strongly" looking at the link between Detective Newman's death and the previous attack.
Sgt. Lear said the prospect of retaliatory attacks will haunt police even during off-duty hours.
"It makes you think," said Sgt. Lear. "You don't remember who [the criminals] are but they always remember who you are."
Detective Newman is survived by a 6-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter.
Gary McLhinney, president of the Fraternal Order of Police lodge representing city policemen, said the men who killed Detective Newman should get the death penalty.
"There is no wiggle room here," Mr. McLhinney said. "He was killed because he was a cop, and these scum deserve the death penalty."
Those charged with first-degree murder are Anthony Antonio Brown, 34; Jovan James House, 21; and Raymond Saunders, 23, whose half-brother, Anthony Saunders, went to prison for shooting Detective Newman.
Mr. House, Mr. Brown and Mr. Saunders all have records of minor drug-crime convictions.
The gunfire that killed Detective Newman was unusual because he was ambushed. But coming under gunfire has become nearly commonplace for Baltimore police.
A man shot and wounded four Baltimore police officers Tuesday night during a drug raid on a town house. The raid netted six plastic bags of marijuana and an ounce of cocaine.
The accused shooter, Lewis Cauthhorne, 26, said he thought he was defending his family from intruders. He faces attempted-murder charges.
In another shooting, a Baltimore police officer's badge deflected a bullet fired by an assailant Nov. 15 when the two men struggled for the gun in a dark alley. The officer suffered only minor bruises from the impact, and the badge was destined for the city's police museum.
And the attacks against Baltimore police are not confined to gun violence, either.
Last week, suspected drug dealers nearly ran down an officer with a car when the policeman interrupted a drug deal. As the officer approached, men congregated around the car scattered and the driver sped toward the officer.
The officer fired at the car, but the two men in the vehicle escaped.
Maryland U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio last week asked Baltimore police to send him 30 new gun-crime cases from high-crime areas. He also assigned two new attorneys to prosecute firearms violations.
Mr. DiBiagio, the state's top federal prosecutor, has been publicly criticized by Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and others for failing to aggressively prosecute gun crimes. His decision to enhance the gun-crime offensive, he said, was not in response to the criticism.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide