Fired Baltimore Police worker disputes background test claims, speaks out about murder investigation – Baltimore Sun

Dana Hayes mentioned police have been attempting for greater than a 12 months to hyperlink him to his stepfather’s 2020 killing.

Still, the 37-year-old accountant utilized for a job with the Baltimore Police Department. A Morgan State University graduate, Hayes was employed because the company’s chief of fiscal providers. His first day was April 11.

Nine days later, Hayes mentioned, detectives handcuffed and searched him at police headquarters when he confirmed up for work Wednesday morning.

Later that day Police Commissioner Michael Harrison introduced that he fired Hayes as a result of a background test failed to show up an outdated gun cost and he was a “person of interest” in a murder investigation. Hayes has not been charged.

“I was detained in front of my colleagues like a criminal,” Hayes mentioned in an unique interview with The Baltimore Sun.

Hayes mentioned he didn’t kill his stepfather and his gun expenses, which date to 2018, had been expunged in 2021 after he accomplished probation.

Ricky Jones, Hayes’ stepfather, was shot a number of occasions July 26, 2020, in Northwest Baltimore. Hayes owned an actual property enterprise, D&L Investment Properties, and mentioned Jones labored for him on the time. Hayes mentioned he has instructed police on a number of events he didn’t kill his stepfather, however thinks police are investigating him as a result of he was the final individual to speak to Jones.

“What motive would I have?” he mentioned. “He never did anything to harm my mother. He never did anything to make us feel unsafe.”

At round 5 a.m. Feb. 24, detectives executed a search warrant at Hayes’ house, rousting him from mattress and leaving him handcuffed within the parking zone, he mentioned. Detectives seized cellphones and a car-tracking gadget from his dwelling, however left a handgun he had. Hayes mentioned he was utilizing the tracker on his girlfriend’s automobile.

Hayes mentioned he’s legally allowed to own a gun following his expungement and has acquired his Handgun Qualification License from the Maryland State Police.

The day his house was searched Detective Ceasar Mohamed interviewed Hayes about his stepfather’s killing and Hayes mentioned he instructed Mohamed he was within the course of of getting his background test accomplished and shortly could be working on the division.

Mohamed questioned Hayes for hours, saying he had been watching him for greater than a 12 months, Hayes mentioned. He mentioned he instructed Mohamed what he might, in an try and be useful, however he recalled the detective left him with a chilling message: “You’re going to fall sooner or later.”

Hayes would see Mohamed once more months later, this time in an elevator at police headquarters. The pair made eye contact and Hayes mentioned he tried to strike up a dialog — he thought his function within the investigation ended with the interview and needed to attempt to create a way of collegiality — however Mohamed walked off.

The Baltimore Police Department usually doesn’t touch upon lively felony investigations.

In Hayes’ termination letter, which he offered to The Sun, human assets officers wrote {that a} “subsequent review” of his background uncovered “derogatory information” that may stop him from being employed. In an inside police memo, Harrison mentioned he fired Hayes due to his “failure of disclosing information” associated to his background.

Harrison introduced Hayes’ firing Wednesday at an unrelated information convention, saying police human assets failed to search out the gun cost of their search and that Hayes was on the division’s Gun Offender Registry — a listing of all folks convicted of firearms offenses within the metropolis that police preserve underneath Baltimore City Code.

Hayes was charged with handgun possession in 2018 however was by no means convicted. He had his report expunged in 2021 as a part of a cope with a choose that he full probation earlier than judgment, a authorized various to conviction permitting individuals who efficiently full probation to have their data expunged.

Under Maryland regulation, an individual who has their report expunged doesn’t should disclose any details about their outdated expenses and can’t have it held in opposition to them for employment functions. It is a felony offense for public officers to reveal any details about an expunged case and not using a court docket order.

“The public policy behind expungement is to remove any record of the offender’s wrongdoing so that they can rehabilitate themselves and become employable,” mentioned Andrew I. Alperstein, a felony protection lawyer and former prosecutor.

Because his expenses had been expunged, the court docket file technically doesn’t exist — for instance, one of many expungement orders Hayes offered to The Sun is stamped “File Not Found,” a signifier to court docket officers they need to not disclose the knowledge in it. Hayes mentioned it his understanding they might not present up in a background test, even one as “extensive” because the police division’s.

Hayes instructed The Sun he doesn’t perceive how he might be on the police’s gun offender database if the offense that put him on the record now not exists.

Alperstein mentioned it’s perplexing town would preserve folks on the registry whose circumstances had been expunged, as a result of it’s an obvious violation of Maryland regulation.

Enacted in 2007, the registry requires gun offenders to return to the police division’s Gun Offender Monitoring Unit on Mount Hope Drive to replace their info each six months, after registering initially, for 5 years. Anyone who violates the ordinance faces a wonderful of as much as $1,000 or one 12 months in jail or each.

”It is senseless to permit the police division to take care of the report of an offender when any individual’s case that brought on the gun offender report to exist has now been ordered eliminated and a choose made that call and set that path in movement once they gave an offender probation earlier than judgment,” Alperstein mentioned.

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The Baltimore Police Department didn’t reply Thursday to requests for remark concerning the registry and the way expungement would possibly have an effect on these listed on it.

After Mohamed and different detectives detained him Wednesday, police executed one other search warrant at Hayes’ house, this time telling a choose he was illegally in possession of a firearm in violation of his probation, in accordance with the choose’s order that sealed different particulars concerning the search warrant. Hayes offered the sealing order to The Sun.

Hayes’ probation resulted in February 2021, in accordance with a letter from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

“It makes no sense in the world that I would apply for something in the police department if I had done these actions (police are) accusing me of,” Hayes mentioned.

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