Relatives Demand Answers in Baltimore LODD


Six weeks since Baltimore police officers shot and killed one of their own, surviving relatives are demanding answers.

Torbit was shot more than 20 times by four uniformed officers who apparently did not recognize Torbit, who was dressed in plain clothes, until after opening fire.

"To go from day to day not having someone that you care for and loved, not being able to see them and them being taken away from us and then get no answers, it's really hard," said Sherri Torbit, the officer's sister.

A police spokesman told the WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team that it's important to have a complete and thorough investigation. The department is waiting for the coroner's autopsy report, and police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld is setting up a panel of outside experts to serve as a review committee.

Relatives, concerned citizens and community activists rallied and marched in downtown Baltimore on Monday, calling on the Police Department to release a report about Torbit's death.

"Tell the truth and stop the lies. Will Torbit didn't have to die, Will Torbit didn't have to die," the crowd chanted.

"We haven't gotten any transparency and we haven't received any accountability that the mayor has talked about," said Darin Muhammad, a community activist.

"I want the world to know, not just Baltimore City. I want the world to know how good my cousin was to everybody and how he served the police force," said Charles Lucas, the officer's cousin. "For them not to give answers, not just to the public but just to the family?"

Emotions ran high at a rally outside the nightclub. Organizers asked why police claimed they would release their report three weeks after the incident but have yet to follow through.

"It's very emotional. My brother gave his time to the community and to us. It's like they took him from us," said Venus Torbit, the officer's sister. "We love the lord. We believe in God. We know God allows things to happen, but this is senseless, this is absolutely senseless."

The marchers carried their concerns from the nightclub through downtown Baltimore to city police headquarters and then to City Hall.

"They've asked the family to be patient, they've asked the community to be patient, they've asked the citizens to be patient, and we've been more than patient," Muhammad said. "We're not stopping demanding answers, we're not stopping demanding accountability until we have justice and all of those that were responsible for the death of Officer Torbit, responsible for the death of Sean Gamble, responsible for the injury of the other innocent bystanders that were here that night, they should be charged."

"For us, every day is a struggle to wake up and realize that this is real," Venus Torbit said. "It's just difficult for the fact that officials have not reached out to us and I just don't understand it."

Also killed in the incident was Sean Gamble, 22, a patron at the club. Three women were wounded and gunfire struck another officer in the foot. Most of the incident was captured by the city's crime cameras.

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