Maryland Capitol Police say a sergeant who used a Taser on a young boy last month has returned to full duty, and an investigation into the incident has concluded.
The Department of General Services, which oversees Maryland Capitol Police, previously confirmed the officer as Sgt. Carlos Gomez, but have released few other details about the March 13 incident, citing juvenile privacy laws.
A witness told The Baltimore Banner that she saw an officer use a Taser on a young boy who was on his stomach and appeared to be handcuffed near Baltimore’s State Center government office complex.
Troy Vehstedt, a spokesman for the agency, said the use-of-force investigation would be referred to an administrative charging committee for recommendations regarding charges or disciplinary action. The investigation was conducted by the Capitol Police’s criminal investigations division, as the department does not have an internal affairs unit.
Gomez could not be reached for comment. His LinkedIn profile says he previously was the general manager of a West Virginia pawn shop, and before that records show he was a police officer for two agencies in Florida.
A spokesman for the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office said earlier this week that its police integrity unit was aware of the case and were “performing a preliminary inquiry to determine whether to open a formal investigation or not.”
The agency initially would not provide any information about the incident, saying it was under investigation. They later acknowledged that a juvenile, whose age they would not provide, was arrested on charges they declined to disclose. They would not say why the officer had engaged the youth but said the case was “concluded.”
The agency, acting on advice from the Attorney General’s Office, says that it can’t provide information because it involved a juvenile.
“A police record concerning a child is confidential and shall be maintained separate from those of adults. Its contents may not be divulged, by subpoena or otherwise, except by order of the court upon good cause shown or as otherwise provided in § 7–303 of the Education Article,” the law says.
Police departments throughout the region routinely tell the public about crime incidents involving youth without releasing their names.
Attorney General Anthony Brown declined to discuss his office’s view on the juvenile law and how it applies to police conduct and crime incidents. He said that agencies did not have to follow advice from his attorneys, who advise state government on the law and represent them in court.
“I provide advice to my client on what their requirements, obligations and limitations are about communications,” Brown said. “You guys have counsel to represent The Banner. I would suggest you have a conversation with your attorneys and say, talk to us about attorney-client privilege.”
When a reporter emphasized an interest in the broader interpretation of the law and not a particular case, Brown said: “In the context of the story you’re writing, I’m not going to share with you my views on a bill so that somehow it can be related to this particular incident.”