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Mobtown Beat

Not a Snitch

Court filing mistakenly called murdered activist an informant, police say

By Van Smith | Posted 7/22/2010

Angelo Dangerfield did not cooperate with Baltimore Police Department (BPD) narcotics investigators, though a law-enforcement affidavit filed in June in Maryland's U.S. District Court said he did, and that he had been murdered in retaliation for doing so. Instead, according to an amended affidavit filed on July 8, police believe Dangerfield--a 21-year-old Cherry Hill youth leader who worked for a city housing agency--was shot dead because his killer or killers thought he was helping the police, even though he wasn't. The Nov. 25, 2009, homicide occurred in Cherry Hill, near Dangerfield's home as he walked his dog in the early morning.

On July 8, the same day the corrected affidavit was filed in court, City Paper reported that Dangerfield had been a "confidential source" for the BPD, based on the original affidavit ("In the Line of Fire," Mobtown Beat, July 8). City Paper's repeated attempts to obtain comment or explanation from BPD for that article, including by e-mail with the original affidavit attached, prompted no response. City Paper only learned that the original affidavit had been amended after Dangerfield's aunt, Mary Dorsey, called on July 19 to say that a BPD homicide detective had recently explained to her that the original affidavit was wrong and would be corrected.

BPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, in a July 19 phone call, says the original affidavit was filed with false information due to "a miscommunication between police and prosecutors," and adds that Dangerfield "was never an informant for the police."

The affidavits were filed in connection with a federal forfeiture proceeding, in which police are seeking to keep $7,693 in suspected narcotics proceeds seized last December from an apartment they say is connected to Ronald Edward Hall. In April, Hall and Michael Robertson were accused in state court of killing Dangerfield, though the charges were dropped five weeks after they were filed. The murder case was based on an alleged eye-witness account, and the charging documents say Dangerfield was killed because Robertson feared his dog.

The forfeiture filing, meanwhile, was recently challenged. On July 16, David Weinstein--Hall's attorney in the murder case--filed a claim for the alleged drug money on behalf of Danielle Foster. The claim says that, contrary to the affidavit supporting the forfeiture, the money belongs to Foster, not Hall, and that the cash was not drug proceeds, but Foster's savings, intended to be used to purchase Christmas presents and cover living expenses. It also challenges the veracity of affidavit's contention that Hall lived at the raided apartment and that Foster had no documented wages, saying instead that she's been working full-time as a geriatric nursing assistant for the past five years.

Dangerfield, Dorsey recalls, spoke of being fearful that he'd been labeled a snitch in the weeks before his murder, even though he hadn't helped the police. She says Dangerfield told her of a recent visit by the police to a Cherry Hill house being gutted by Dangerfield and a crew of fellow city workers. The police had asked them for information about anything they'd noticed going on at a house across the street, and, Dorsey says, Dangerfield and the other workers had no information to offer. Later the same day, the police raided the suspicious house, and Dorsey recalls Dangerfield saying that shortly thereafter he was being a called a snitch by people around the neighborhood.

"We thought he was just being paranoid," Dorsey says, "but he said, 'I know what I'm talking about.'"

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