A Baltimore City police officer is facing charges after police found his stepson dead in a gun safe inside an Anne Arundel County, Maryland, home.
However, the initial charges against 34-year-old Eric Banks Jr. are not in connection with the death of the teenager, but instead a struggle between Banks and the police officers that placed him under arrest.
According to charging documents, Anne Arundel County police were called to a home on Stoney Point Way in Curtis Bay on Tuesday after a mother called police with concerns that Banks, who is her son’s stepdad, was not allowing the boy to leave the home.
The documents say that when officers arrived at the home, they asked Banks where the teenager was.
Banks told police that the boy left the home after he told the teenager a judge had awarded his mother full custody of the boy.
After looking outside the home and calling the boy’s mother, officers on the scene went inside to look for him. Once on the top floor of the home, an officer saw a hole in the wall with a white cover over it. Banks told the officers that was his “gun safe area.” An officer who looked inside found the boy’s body, and placed Banks in handcuffs.
When Banks was placed inside a police cruiser, he reportedly unbuckled himself and continued to try and stand and urged the officers to “double lock” his handcuffs. When an officer tried to make the cuff more secure, Banks was accused of trying to get out of the car and was put back in the seat as he allegedly told officers he wanted to “kiss his kids.”
Banks, according to the officer, was able to unbuckle himself again, then stood up in the car. As the officer tried to restrain him, he claims Banks tried to disarm him by grabbing for the officer’s service weapon. The officer said he was able to hold onto his holster and prevent Banks from getting the gun. The officer said while doing that, Banks stated repeatedly, “You’re going to have to end this.”
With the help of another officer, Banks was wrestled back into the car. Banks has only been charged for the scuffle with police. The charges against him include first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disarming a police officer and other charges.
Police are still awaiting results from a medical examiner on how Banks’ stepson died.
“The Baltimore Police Department is aware of an ongoing investigation involving one of our members in Anne Arundel County,” said Baltimore Police spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge in a statement.
Elridge said Banks has been an officer with the department since 2018. She also said Banks’ police powers had been previously suspended, and now, they will be suspended without pay.