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BPD Officer Charged With Murder After Death Of Teenage Stepson

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Anne Arundel County Police Facebook livestream
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Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad speaks at a Wednesday morning news conference.

Baltimore Police officer Eric G. Banks, Jr. has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his teenage stepson Dasan Jones, whose body was found by Anne Arundel County police in his Curtis Bay home last week.

“The evidence led to asphyxiation, and that's where we are right now,” Lt. Rich Alban, head of the Anne Arundel department’s major crimes unit, said at a news conference Wednesday morning. He said police cannot provide more details as the investigation is ongoing.

Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad added that there is body camera footage that will not be released.

Jones had just completed his freshman year in the Biomedical Allied Health Program at Glen Burnie High School. Awad described him as a young man with a bright future loved by his community.

“He was a magnet student and was an accomplished violinist. And quite frankly, I can't think of any more beautiful instrument to play than the violin. It speaks volumes to this young man's commitment and care,” she said. “His friends have also spoken to his character as someone who would not hesitate to help others.”

Jones’ death came after two months of domestic violence reports from Banks’ wife. She had applied for two protective orders against her husband, citing emotional abuse and fear for herself and her children, Jones and two other sons. District Court Judge Ronald Alan Karasic denied her first request on June 28. The second, first reported by the Baltimore Sun, was obtained the afternoon of Jones’ death; his mother called police to check on him on July 6.

AAPD officers arrived at Banks’ home after the call. According to charging documents, Banks told police that Jones was not home.

“They could tell something was awry, was amiss. Things just weren't adding up,” Awad said.

Officers eventually discovered Jones’ body in a crawlspace. Prosecutors say that Banks admitted to hiding his stepson’s body but insisted that he did not know the cause of death.

“Mr. Banks could not provide a reasonable explanation for hiding the victim's body,” charging documents say.

Banks then allegedly fought with responders and tried to disarm an officer. That night, he was charged with first and second degree assault, reckless endangerment, disarming a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and failing to obey lawful order.

“I can't go into the specifics, but I can say with confidence he was very deceptive throughout the engagement,” Awad said.

Banks is a three-year veteran of the city police department. Commissioner Michael Harrison has said he was suspended prior to his arrest last week but has not specified why.

Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics. She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves. There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team. Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has also won awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association for her use of sound and feature stories. She has provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now and All Things Considered.