James Lloyd, a Baltimore Police sergeant and the lead investigator for the 2017 murder of Detective Sean Suiter, has been arrested on charges of extortion and kidnapping, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The 45-year-old Lloyd from Gwynn Oak has been suspended without pay, according to what Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told the Baltimore Sun, and an internal affairs investigation has been launched.
Three other Baltimore Police Department detectives have been suspended in relation to the same incident for which Lloyd has been arrested, according to local Baltimore TV station Fox-45.
Lloyd Allegedly Intimidated Someone He Hired To Work on His Home
The BPD Sgt, James Lloyd, arrested tonight on extortion and kidnapping charges, is a homicide detective.
He was a lead investigator in the death of homicide Det Sean Suiter in 2017
— Jayne Miller (@jemillerwbal) July 10, 2020
The trouble started after Lloyd hired someone to work on a project at his home but didn’t like the job he did, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Fox-45 reported that county police officers were told that Lloyd became angry and demanded a refund, using his role as a police officer to intimidate the man into going to the bank.
When Lloyd became unsatisfied with the work, he approached the victim and demanded a refund. During the dispute, the suspect identified himself as a police officer. At one point Lloyd made the victim get into his car with him and go to a bank to get a certified check for an agreed amount of refund. The victim stated he was in fear of being arrested and complied with Lloyd’s demands.
An arrest warrant was issued July 9, leading to Lloyd’s arrest, according to court records. Lloyd is being charged with felony extortion and kidnapping for the alleged June 25 incident. His next hearing is a bail hearing which will take place July 10 at 1 p.m.
It is unclear how the other three officers were involved in the incident. However, Harrison said those three detectives have been reassigned to desk duty and are currently under internal investigation.
The Baltimore Sun had previously reported how at least 20 Baltimore police officers had been arrested, sentenced or suspended for allegations from beating suspects to drunk driving. That same year, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby had announced that her office “identified “hundreds” of police officers suspected of misconduct that calls into question their credibility,” according to the Sun.
Lloyd Was Investigating the Murder of Baltimore Police Detective Sean Suiter
Lloyd had been the lead investigator of Suiter’s murder, which occurred November 15.
Suiter was a husband and father of five, former Naval Officer and 18-year-veteran of the force. He was a homicide detective at the time of his death.
According to a briefing delivered by then-Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, Suiter was supposed to testify in a federal grand jury case where several officers had been indicted on November 16. Despite speculation that Suiter’s murder was part of a conspiracy to prevent him from testifying, Davis said that was not the case.
The 43-year-old Suiter was following up on a 2016 homicide investigation with his partner at around 5 p.m. After the two split up, Suiter saw someone Davis described as committing “suspicious activity” and he approached him. When Suiter tried to talk to the man, somehow the man disarmed him and used his own service weapon to shoot Suiter in the head. On the transport to the hospital, the patrol car carrying Suiter was struck by another car, delaying his arrival to Maryland Medical Center and he eventually died there.
The shooter has never been identified.
A $215,000 reward was offered and anyone with information is being urged to call Baltimore FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI, police detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP.
In 2019, a Maryland State report eventually ruled that Suiter’s death was the result of a suicide, despite insistence from the family that he had not killed himself, according to the Washington Post. However, an interview with an unrelated suspect was revealed and that suspect claimed that he knew someone who knew the shooter, casting doubt on the suicide theory.
Mosby and Baltimore’s police union have said that Suiter’s case is still open.