BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Monday filed a complaint requesting that a temporary restraining order be issued to “stop the Harford County Sheriff’s Office from interfering with the investigation” of the Office of the Attorney General’s Independent Investigations Division into a fatal police-involved shooting.
The shooting in question took place in Forest Hill on Saturday, April 23rd.
In 2021, the Maryland General Assembly created an independent unit within the Attorney General’s Office, called the Independent Investigations Division (IID), to investigate all police-involved fatalities in the state. Local law-enforcement agencies are required by law to cooperate with the IID’s investigations.
As detailed in the documents filed on Monday, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) notified the Independent Investigations Division on April 23 that two of its deputies had shot and killed a civilian. IID investigators, along with the Maryland State Police homicide unit and forensic sciences unit, began arriving within 40 minutes to process the crime scene, collect evidence, and interview witnesses.
At the scene, Attorney General Frosh alleges that the HCSO refused to allow the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Unit – an independent body – to collect the evidence in this case, in accordance with the IID’s standard protocols. The complaint states that the HCSO insisted instead that its own employees collect the evidence. The HCSO did not begin collecting that evidence until after MSP evidence technicians were present and available to do so in a reliable, independent manner. That evidence has not been provided to the IID in the two days since the fatality occurred.
The complaint also states that the HCSO also refused to provide copies of any video footage of this incident to the Independent Investigations Division. That video includes the body-worn cameras of the involved and witness officers, as well as dashboard cameras and additional video from non-law-enforcement sources. The HCSO’s proposed alternative—that the IID review the videos only under HCSO supervision—is antithetical to an independent investigation, according to Attorney General Frosh.
Attorney General Frosh has released the following statement about the fatal incident and its investigation:
“The Sheriff’s Office is interfering with the Division’s investigation in this case. This interference with an independent investigation is in violation of the law. The people of Maryland deserve better, and we will fight to see that they get it.”
Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Independent Investigations Division at 410-576-7070.
At around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, officers responded to a call for a suicidal subject, who was believed to be armed with a long gun. After searching for nearly an hour, the individual was located behind the CVS in Forest Hill. The interaction concluded with police discharging their firearms and the subject was pronounced dead. The deceased adult male has been identified as John Raymond Fauver, 53, of the 1400-block of Old Pylesville Road in Whiteford.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office on Monday issued the following statement on social media:
“The Deputies involved in the Forest Hill incident have been identified as Sergeant Sives and Corporal Maddox. Sgt. Sives joined the Agency in 2007 and is currently assigned to the Police Operations Bureau, Northern Precinct. Cpl. Maddox also joined the Agency in 2007 and is currently assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau, Criminal Investigations Division. Both Deputies remain on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
“Investigators have worked tirelessly since the incident occurred to thoroughly investigate the shooting and the events leading up to the moment deputies discharged their firearms. We continue to work in conjunction the MD Attorney General’s Independent Investigative Unit (IIU) and investigators from the Maryland State Police (MSP), in accordance with Maryland law and HCSO policy. Since the initial response, the IIU and MSP investigators have had the opportunity and access to review all footage and they have viewed footage along with HCSO personnel. In the spirit of full cooperation, they continue to have complete and unfettered access to view any footage or evidence they need as we move forward. We are committed to a fair and transparent investigation and will continue to update citizens as the investigation unfolds.
“Many citizens have inquired about releasing body camera footage. Please understand that many hours of footage exist, and, in order to not bias or influence the investigation, a full review must occur before we can share any evidence with the public. It is our full intention, that at the conclusion of the investigation, the public will be able to view the footage. We thank you for your patience.
“If anyone has additional information, video, or witnessed the incident, please call Detective Golden at 410-836-5430.”
[Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels]