Harford County Deputies Involved In Fatal Shooting Last Year Will Not Face Charges


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HARFORD COUNTY - The two Harford County deputies who fatally shot John Fauver in Whiteford last year will not be prosecuted, according to Harford County State's Attorney Alison Healey.

Healey sent a letter on Monday to the Maryland Attorney General's Independent Investigations announcing her decision not to pursue prosecution for Cpl. Christopher Maddox and Sgt. Bradford Sives.

The state's attorney said she based her decision not to bring charges on the "vague" description of events leading up to the fatal shooting.

"The Independent Investigations Division (IID) Report provided to my office was extensive, [but] the description of the events leading up to the police-involved shooting in this matter seem to be generally and purposefully vague," Healey wrote in the letter.

What happened?

Officers responded on April 23, 2022, to a call about a potentially armed suicidal man in the parking lot of the CVS pharmacy in the Bel Air North Village shopping center in Forest Hill.

Police arrived on the scene to find a defiant 53-year-old John Fauver. Body-worn camera footage shows Favuer telling deputies, "I'm so ready to die, man." after he jumped a curb in his truck in an attempt to evade police.

Footage shows Sgt. Bradford Sives repeatedly urging Fauver to calm down, put his hands up, and stop reaching for things in his truck. Deputies can be heard telling Fauver that they "don't want to hurt him."

During the altercation, Fauver appeared to point a long object in the direction of deputies. Sives shouted, "It's a cane!" multiple times, but his fellow officers did not hear those comments.

Body-worn camera footage from Cpl. Christopher Maddox, who was standing a significant distance from Fauver and Sives, illustrates the miscommunication.

"He's reaching; he's reaching. He's got a gun! He's got the gun!" Maddox said before firing his handgun at Fauver. Several more gunshots followed.

Sives' body-worn camera footage shows him firing his shotgun before calling for a ceasefire.

The controversy surrounding former State's Attorney Albert Peisinger Jr's decision not to prosecute.

Less than three months after the shooting, and before the Independent Investigations Division delivered their report, former Harford County State's Attorney Albert Peisinger Jr. announced that he would not pursue charges against the officers. He described the deputies' use of deadly force as "necessary and proportional and not unreasonable."

Peisinger outlined his decision in a letter to Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler. The State's Attorney said that his office reviewed body-worn and dashboard camera footage, along with pictures, witness interviews, Facebook posts, and information from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner before making their decision. The letter to Gahler characterizes the incident as an attempt at "suicide by law enforcement."

Sheriff Gahler was later sued by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who accused the sheriff of interfering with the IID investigation into the incident. The court sided with Frosh, but nevertheless, Peisinger issued his decision not to bring charges.

Despite agreeing that the deputies should not be prosecuted, current State's Attorney Alison Healey condemned Peisinger's decision not to wait for the IID report in a news release on Tuesday.

"As described earlier in this report, at the time of that announcement, the State's Attorney's Office had neither requested nor received the results of any witness interviews, forensic testing, or medical reports," the report states.

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