Baltimore Police Officer Charged With Murdering His Teenage Stepson

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U.S.|Baltimore Police Officer Charged With Murdering His Teenage Stepson

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/us/eric-banks-jr-baltimore-police.html

Anne Arundel County constabulary officers recovered Dasan Jones, 15, “unresponsive” successful an attic crawl space, authorities said. The origin of decease was asphyxiation.

Chief Amal Awad of the Anne Arundel County Police Department  giving an update connected  the lawsuit  connected  Wednesday. Officers discovered an unresponsive teenage lad  successful  an attic crawl abstraction  past  week.
Credit...Kenneth K. Lam/The Baltimore Sun, via Associated Press

Johnny Diaz

July 14, 2021, 4:58 p.m. ET

A Baltimore constabulary serviceman has been charged with execution successful the decease of his 15-year-old stepson, whose assemblage was recovered hidden successful the officer’s attic past week.

The officer, Eric Banks Jr., 34, was arrested connected July 6 connected charges of battle connected a constabulary serviceman and trying to disarm an serviceman portion the constabulary were investigating his home, according to the Anne Arundel County Police Department. Officers discovered the assemblage of a teenager, who was aboriginal pronounced dead. The origin was determined to beryllium asphyxiation.

On Tuesday, Officer Banks was charged with first- and second-degree execution and first-degree kid maltreatment resulting successful the decease of his stepson, Dasan Jones, who was known arsenic DJ, the constabulary said.

“This is perfectly a heartbreaking, traumatic and horrific case,” Chief Amal Awad of the Anne Arundel County Police Department said astatine a quality league connected Wednesday. “We proceed to assistance DJ, and I inquire that the assemblage does the same.”

Chief Awad described DJ arsenic “a young antheral with a agleam future” who played the violin and had conscionable completed his freshman twelvemonth successful a biomedical wellness programme astatine Glen Burnie High School, which is astir 10 miles southbound of Baltimore.

Warren Brown, a lawyer for Officer Banks, said helium was awaiting the autopsy study of DJ’s decease to larn however the teen was asphyxiated.

“We don’t cognize if determination is grounds of strangulation oregon of hanging, astatine slightest from what the constabulary person released truthful far,” Mr. Brown said connected Wednesday.

Shortly earlier 5 p.m. connected July 6, Anne Arundel County constabulary officers responded to a telephone astir a kid custody dispute, Justin Mulcahy, a spokesperson for the department, said astatine the quality conference.

A parent was successful the country to prime up her teenage lad who had been with his stepfather, the constabulary said.

The officers were initially told by the stepfather, who was aboriginal identified arsenic Officer Banks, that the teen had near the home, leaving his belongings behind.

As the officers checked the place, they recovered the teen “unresponsive” successful an attic crawl space, Mr. Mulcahy said.

When the responding officers “secured” Officer Banks, helium became combative and tried to disarm an officer, Mr. Mulcahy said.

The constabulary said respective much officers past responded to the country to assistance instrumentality Officer Banks into custody.

During the altercation, Officer Banks said “my beingness is over” and “choke me, choke me,” according to the police.

An apprehension warrant was obtained, charging Officer Banks with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disarming a instrumentality officer, resisting apprehension and nonaccomplishment to obey a lawful order, Mr. Mulcahy said.

At the scene, Anne Arundel County investigators collected items including “apparent bloody clothing” that was wrong a dresser drawer.

Investigators interviewed respective witnesses successful transportation with the decease and performed forensic examinations of grounds taken from the home.

On Tuesday, the aesculapian examiner ruled that DJ died from asphyxiation successful a mode accordant with homicide.

Officer Banks was being held astatine the Anne Arundel County Detention Center without bail connected the archetypal battle charges.

Chief Awad said the lawsuit “remained precise active.”

Officer Banks, who has worked for the Baltimore Police Department since 2018, was “actively suspended without pay,” Chief Awad said.

“The alleged actions of Officer Banks are not lone deplorable, but shocking to the conscience,” Commissioner Michael S. Harrison of the Baltimore constabulary said. “Our section volition proceed to enactment intimately with the Anne Arundel County Police Department during this ongoing investigation.”

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