An officer with the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) was taken into custody on July 3, 2021, at his suburban home in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, after scuffling with local police responding to a custody-dispute call — who then found his dying teenage stepson hidden in a hole in wall.
Anne Arundel Police said that BPD Officer Eric G. Banks, Jr., 34, initially claimed his 15-year-old stepson, Dasan “D.J.” Jones, wasn’t home, and he cooperated when they asked to search the house. But they said Banks became agitated when they neared a covered cavity in a bedroom wall, which he claimed was a makeshift gun safe. Hidden inside, they found Jones’ unresponsive body.
Officers attempted to revive the boy, relieved by firefighters when they arrived on the scene. None of their efforts was successful. Jones was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The cause of his death is still under investigation.
Meanwhile officers placed Banks under arrest and led him outside the house, where he attempted to disarm one of them. While struggling for control of the other officer’s gun, Banks allegedly told her several times that she was “gonna have to end this.”
Jones’ mother, who is married to Banks, had placed the call that brought police to the officer’s home, saying she thought her son was being held against his will by her husband. They also have two younger children together. A protective order she requested on June 25, 2021, accused Banks of stalking as well as “emotional and mental abuse.” A court denied that request three days later.
Five days after that, Jones was dead.
For going after the other officer’s gun, Banks was charged with felony assault and resisting arrest, resulting in his suspension without pay by BPD. The department said that his police powers had already been suspended, without specifying a reason.
At a bail hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Miller told Judge Danielle Mosley that Banks had admitted moving Jones’ body and was “suicidal and homicidal.” She denied bond, and Banks was placed in protective custody as a suicide risk.
Sources: WJZ-TV, Baltimore Sun
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