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Mystery in Maryland: a small town suspended all police officers and residents want to know why

Authorities reported that the department was under "investigation" and that, in the meantime, state and county agents will take over from local officers.

Vista hacia el sur a lo largo de la Ruta Estatal 312 de Maryland (Avenida Central) en Seward Road en Ridgely, Condado de Caroline, Maryland

(Wikimedia Commons)

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The streets of Ridgely, Maryland, were left without a single police officer this Wednesday. A four-sentence statement, posted on the town official's website, explained:

The Commissioners of Ridgley suspended with pay the entirety of the Ridgely Police Department, effectively immediately, pending investigation by the Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor.

"What’s very concerning is that they didn’t communicate with us in an honest and open way," protested one resident, a beautician and owner of a local spa, in statements to AFP reported by The Baltimore Sun. "It makes you question the integrity of people who are supposed to protect and serve."

Another Ridgely resident, a member of a family business that has been in the town for more than 40 years, said in statements to the same media that the suspension of the entire police department "it doesn’t add up." "Everybody is skeptical about what has happened. We just want to know how and why."

In the absence of accurate explanations from the authorities, multiple speculations have circulated, based primarily on the fact that some town agents were subject to scrutiny for irregular behavior in the past. A former police chief was involved in the death of Anton Black in 2018, for which Ridgely paid the deceased's family. Other officers (at least two) had been hired despite having prior records.

While the disqualification continues, the commissioners asked the nearly 1,600 residents to continue calling 911 in case of emergency, since other public services will cover the tasks of the Police. State and Caroline County agents are also assisting.