A Baltimore police officer has been charged with homicide within the demise of his 15-year-old stepson, whose physique was discovered hidden within the officer’s attic final week.
The officer, Eric Banks Jr., 34, was arrested on July 6 on costs of assault on a police officer and making an attempt to disarm an officer whereas the police had been investigating his residence, in accordance with the Anne Arundel County Police Department. Officers found the physique of a youngster, who was later pronounced useless. The trigger was decided to be asphyxiation.
On Tuesday, Officer Banks was charged with first- and second-degree homicide and first-degree little one abuse ensuing within the demise of his stepson, Dasan Jones, who was referred to as DJ, the police mentioned.
“This is absolutely a heartbreaking, traumatic and horrific case,” Chief Amal Awad of the Anne Arundel County Police Department mentioned at a information convention on Wednesday. “We continue to lift DJ, and I ask that the community does the same.”
Chief Awad described DJ as “a young man with a bright future” who performed the violin and had simply accomplished his freshman 12 months in a biomedical well being program at Glen Burnie High School, which is about 10 miles south of Baltimore.
Warren Brown, a lawyer for Officer Banks, mentioned he was awaiting the post-mortem report of DJ’s demise to find out how the teenager was asphyxiated.
“We don’t know if there is evidence of strangulation or of hanging, at least from what the police have released so far,” Mr. Brown mentioned on Wednesday.
Shortly earlier than 5 p.m. on July 6, Anne Arundel County cops responded to a name a few little one custody dispute, Justin Mulcahy, a spokesman for the division, mentioned on the information convention.
A mom was within the space to select up her teenage son who had been along with his stepfather, the police mentioned.
The officers had been initially informed by the stepfather, who was later recognized as Officer Banks, that the teenager had left the house, leaving his belongings behind.
As the officers checked the place, they discovered the teenager “unresponsive” in an attic crawl area, Mr. Mulcahy mentioned.
When the responding officers “secured” Officer Banks, he turned combative and tried to disarm an officer, Mr. Mulcahy mentioned.
The police mentioned a number of extra officers then responded to the scene to assist take Officer Banks into custody.
During the altercation, Officer Banks mentioned “my life is over” and “choke me, choke me,” in accordance with the police.
An arrest warrant was obtained, charging Officer Banks with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disarming a regulation officer, resisting arrest and failure to obey a lawful order, Mr. Mulcahy mentioned.
At the scene, Anne Arundel County investigators collected objects together with “apparent bloody clothing” that was inside a dresser drawer.
Investigators interviewed a number of witnesses in reference to the demise and carried out forensic examinations of proof taken from the house.
On Tuesday, the medical expert dominated that DJ died from asphyxiation in a fashion according to murder.
Officer Banks was being held on the Anne Arundel County Detention Center with out bail on the unique assault costs.
Chief Awad mentioned the case “remained very active.”
Officer Banks, who has labored for the Baltimore Police Department since 2018, was “actively suspended without pay,” Chief Awad mentioned.
“The alleged actions of Officer Banks are not only deplorable, but shocking to the conscience,” Commissioner Michael S. Harrison of the Baltimore police mentioned. “Our department will continue to work closely with the Anne Arundel County Police Department during this ongoing investigation.”