Attorney General’s Office Accepting Public Comment on Review of In-Custody Death Reports

    Attorney General Brian Frosh’s office is creating a panel of experts to audit in-custody death determinations made by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner during the tenure of Dr. David Fowler.

    Frosh (D) announced the review in April after Fowler,  who was the Maryland chief medical examiner between 2002 and 2019, testified in defense of the police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd. Advocates said Fowler overlooked the role of police actions in causing Floyd’s death, and that he’d reached similar conclusions in the autopsy reports of Marylanders who died in police custody.

    In the weeks since, Frosh’s office — in consultation with Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s legal counsel — has started developing a process for the review.

    “We are committed to overseeing a professional and independent audit that adheres to the highest standards of impartiality and integrity. We will be consulting experts, examining similar audits in other jurisdictions, and doing a preliminary review of OCME data and protocols,” Frosh said in a statement released Friday. “Our intent is to appoint a panel of independent subject matter experts to perform the audit, and at the conclusion of the review, to release a public report on its findings.

    Members of the public — including communities affected by in-custody deaths or people with interest or expertise in the work of the medical examiner — can submit comments by June 7. Comments can be emailed to [email protected], or mailed to 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD  21202.

    [email protected]

    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines covered government and politics for Maryland Matters for two years before moving into an editing position. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post ― as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at The Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.