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Annapolis Mayor and Police Chief hold press conference to discuss homicide

| March 16, 2020, 10:14 PM

Rams Head

Earlier today, Mayor Gavin Buckley, several Aldermen, Police Chief Jackson, community activists, and religious leaders held a press conference near the site of a fatal shooting on Ben’s Drive in the Bay Ridge Gardens community.

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Rams Head

Mayor Buckley opened the conference with condolences to the family and lamenting another killing in the community. He said that the City is in discussion with the management to give key fobs to residents to restrict access to residents. In addition, the Mayor said they would be erecting a gate to the one-way in / one-way out community.

Throughout the hour-long press conference, religious leaders and activists said that the time for talking was over and that something had to be done; a common talking point after each murder in the City.

The family of the victim, identified as 49-year old Leslie (Les) Saunders, was present and spoke directly to the shooter saying that there would be “no retaliating; but you will be brought to justice.” Saunders’ brother, Anthony White, said that his brother “had a sickness but was on the right track” and looked at the Mayor saying that if this had happened downtown, it would have been corrected.

As to the crime itself, Police Chief Edward Jackson said that detectives were working on the case and he could not divulge too much for fear of compromising the case. Again, he said that the police could not do their jobs unless the community steps up to help. The Chief mentioned that an officer was in the neighborhood when they shooting happened and had spoken with the victim several minutes before he was shot. The Chief expressed grave concern that people were willing to commit violence knowing that the police were present. This was the same case with a recent shooting on President Street in Eastport. In this case and that, the shooter got away.

Antonio Brown, a community activist questioned the Chief on this saying that Les Saunders was shot multipole times with a police officer nearby in a neighborhood that only has one way out. He said it was reasonable to think that the shooter was perhaps hiding in an apartment, yet no search was complete. In reply, the Chief said that he could not reply or comment at the risk of jeopardizing the case.

This was the first homicide reported in 2020 in the City of Annapolis and of the most recent six in the City, three were in Bay Ridge Gardens. Bay Ridge Gardens is a privately owned, federally subsidized housing complex.

The scene was a bit surreal with the looming threat of the COVID-19 virus, a gaggle of politicians, clergy, and police officers just steps away from where a man lay dead less than 24 hours earlier, while young children played on the basketball court and rode their bikes as if nothing was amiss.

Rams Head

Category: Crime News, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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