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Ellsworth Petition

Ellsworth Petition

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Published by Justin Fenton
Petition filed by Baltimore homicide detective Joshua Ellsworth
Petition filed by Baltimore homicide detective Joshua Ellsworth

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Published by: Justin Fenton on Jan 10, 2012
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01/10/2012

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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FORBALTIMORE CITY, MARYLANDJOSHUA TRIPP ELLSWORTH,Petitioner
CIVIL ACTION
v
.
No.: 24-C-11-005397/AA t...1POLICE COMMISSIONERFREDERICK H. BEALEFELD, III,Respondent
--o
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Th
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PETITIONER'S MEMORANDUM OF LAWIN SUPPORT OF PETITION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW
Introduction & History of the Case
Joshua Tripp Ellsworth, the Petitioner, began his employment with the Baltimore PoliceDepartment on or about July 17, 2003. Following a probationary period, Ellsworth was a non-
probationary employee of the Baltimore Police Department. At all times pertinent to this appeal,
Ellsworth was a detective assigned to the Criminal Investigation Bureau, Homicide Section. Atall times pertinent to this appeal, the appointed Police Commissioner for the Baltimore Police
Department was Frederick H. Bealefeld, III.
Baltimore City Police Officers are subject to the protection of the Maryland Law
Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights. Md. Ann. Code Public Safety § 3-101
et seq.
(hereinafter
LEOBOR).
On August 7, 2009, Major Terrance McLamey assigned Detective Joshua Ellsworth toinvestigate a kidnapping that had just occurred. Much of what followed thereafter represents a
failure of policy within the Baltimore Police Department. Essentially — as will be shown —
Ellsworth became a pawn between competing supervisors (and egos) within the Baltimore Police
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Department. At all times, Detective Ellsworth perceived his legal duty, official mission, andprofessional responsibility to be that of apprehending the kidnapper and saving the life of the
kidnap victim. For reasons that ought to embarrass the Police Commissioner, others in the
Baltimore Police Department became embroiled in petty administrative disputes which
culminated in the detention (and likely arrest) of Detective Ellsworth.
Whatever else is true, on August 7, 2009, while investigating a kidnapping, Ellsworth's
police powers were suspended
sua sponte
by Baltimore Police Sergeant Jonathan Brickus.Within a few minutes, Lt. Dameon Carter and/or Police Major Terrance McLarney restoredEllsworth's police powers. Sergeant Brickus declined to return Ellsworth's gun, and so for ashort time Ellsworth continued his investigation and attempted apprehension of a kidnapper
without a firearm.
At the conclusion of the shift, Ellsworth was asked to refrain from complaining about the
false arrest made of him by Sergeant Brickus, and requested to be a team player. Ellsworth
acquiesced. On his part, Sergeant Brickus filed a complaint against Detective Ellsworth with the
Internal Investigation Division of the Baltimore Police Department.
On August 17, 2009, Ellsworth was served with a "Notification to Accused of
Complaint." The complaint — IID Disciplinary Control Number 09-1458 — alleged that on
August 7, 2009, Ellsworth failed to obey an order given to him by a superior, Sergeant Jonathan
Brickus.
On September 23, 2009, Ellsworth submitted to an interrogation pursuant to the
LEOBOR. Attorney Clarke F. Ahlers (counsel on this brief) represented Ellsworth during the
interrogation.
On June 2, 2010, Nathan A. Warfield, Director of the Internal Investigation Division,
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notified Ellsworth that the IID investigation concluded that the complaint was sustained)
Ellsworth was served with seven violations of four (administrative) Rules and Regulations for
the government of the Police Department of Baltimore City. The rules involve: (1) conductunbecoming an officer; (2) willful disobedience of lawful command or order; (3) unethical
conduct; and (4) insubordination / disrespect to superior officer.
As a practical matter, only two of the administrative charges are germane to the issues to
be decided by this Honorable Court:
CHARGE 1
Violation of General Order C-2, Rule 1, Section
Conduct
Any breach of the peace, neglect of duty, misconduct or any conduct on the part of any
member of the department, either within or without the City of Baltimore, which tends to
undermine the good order, efficiency or discipline of the department, or which reflects
discredit upon the department or any member thereof, or which is prejudicial to theefficiency and discipline of the department, even though these offenses may not be
specifically enumerated or laid down, shall be considered conduct unbecoming a member
of the Baltimore Police Department, and subject to disciplinary action by the Police
Commissioner.Specification 3:
For that, on or about August 7, 2009, Detective Joshua Ellsworth reflected discredit upon
himself and the Department, when, while on the scene of a possible domestic abduction,
Detective Ellsworth entered into a verbal confrontation with Sergeant Jonathan Brickus, a
permanent ranking supervisor, while in plain view of numerous law enforcement
members and the general public, thereby, conducting himself in a manner unbecoming a
member of the Baltimore Police Department.
CHARGE 4:Violation of General Order C-2, Rule 1, Section 13
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It is important to the complete understanding of this case that the name Nathan Warfield not be overlooked. As willbe shown, Major Warfield was relieved of his command because of his association with a witness against Ellsworth
in this case.
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