Former cop who failed to intervene during assault gets sentence suspension

A judge ordered Christopher Nguyen to serve 18 months of supervised probation and to complete implicit bias training


By Jessica Anderson
Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — A former Baltimore Police officer previously sentenced to 60 days of incarceration for failing to stop an assault will not have to serve any time behind bars.

Circuit Judge Kendra Young Ausby on Monday suspended the entire sentence for Christopher Nguyen, 27, but ordered him to serve 18 months of supervised probation and to complete implicit bias training, according to a review of a video of the hearing.

“He has pretty much lost everything else,” Ausby said before announcing the ruling. She said Nguyen had indicated he long wanted to be a police officer but that because of his conviction, he likely will be ineligible to be hired at another agency.

“It’s over for him and this was his dream for a long time,” the judge said.

Nguyen was charged in 2021 with reckless endangerment and misconduct in office after prosecutors said he failed to intervene in a 2020 assault.

Additionally, the judge noted that the victim’s family members simply wanted Nguyen to no longer work as a police officer, saying that the victim’s mother said, “‘I just don’t want him to be a police officer.’”

“That’s all she wanted,” Ausby said.

Nguyen did not speak at the hearing. Afterward, he was embraced by several uniformed officers who had attended the hearing in support.

Prosecutors said previously that Nguyen “failed to properly supervise, secure or otherwise detain suspect Kenneth Sommers,” who accused the victim, Wayne Brown, of stealing a vehicle from Sommers’ business, Crazy Kenny’s Junk Cars in the Belair-Edison neighborhood.

Sommers had tracked the car to Kolb Avenue, where he confronted Brown. In front of Nguyen, Sommers told Brown, “Hey, can you see that? Can you see? So you can remember me,” before kicking the man in the head, according to prosecutors.

Body-worn camera footage from the incident showed Nguyen arriving on the scene and speaking to Sommers, who was waiting in the street by his pickup truck. Sommers told Nguyen that a man stole the vehicle from his business, Crazy Kenny’s Junk Cars in the Belair-Edison neighborhood, and he had tracked the car to Kolb Avenue, where he confronted him.

Nguyen was convicted of reckless endangerment in August.

Sommers was charged and convicted of first-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to online court records.

A search of online court records shows no charges against Brown alleging vehicle theft.

A Baltimore Police spokeswoman confirmed Friday that Nguyen was no longer with the department. Nguyen’s attorney, Chaz Ball, said at the hearing that his client had resigned from the department.

Ball had filed a motion to reconsider the sentence, and requested that Nguyen serve his sentence through at-home detention or at an outside jurisdiction so that he would not have to risk his safety serving alongside individuals he might have encountered as a police officer.

Assistant State’s Attorney Ernest Reitz said at the hearing that the state and Brown’s family were opposed to home detention, but that they were not opposed to Nguyen serving his sentence at an outside jurisdiction.

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