Officers in Freddie Gray Incident Exonerated – Department Was Not

Baltimore-riots

Those who believe that the police in the Freddie Gray incident were wrongly accused may have had their view validated by the courts, but the Justice Department report obliterates any vindication that the police may have had on this.

There can be little doubt after reading this report that there is a major problem in Baltimore and we can see why riots occurred and why crime, especially murder, has spiked.  Police critic Radley Balko said, “I’ve read a lot of Justice Department reports on local police agencies. This is one of the worst I’ve ever seen.”

Here are some key findings:

  • “BPD’s legacy of zero tolerance enforcement continues to drive its policing in certain Baltimore neighborhoods and leads to unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests. Many BPD supervisors instruct officers to make frequent stops and arrests—even for minor offenses and with minimal or no suspicion—without sufficient consideration of whether this enforcement strategy promotes public safety and community trust or conforms to constitutional standards.”
  • “BPD’s pedestrian stops are concentrated on a small portion of Baltimore residents. BPD made roughly 44 percent of its stops in two small, predominantly African-American districts that contain only 11 percent of the City’s population. Consequently, hundreds of individuals—nearly all of them African American—were stopped on at least 10 separate occasions from 2010–2015. Indeed, seven African-American men were stopped more than 30 times during this period.”
  • “Our review of incident reports and interviews with officers and community members found that officers regularly approach individuals standing or walking on City sidewalks to detain and question them and check for outstanding warrants, despite lacking reasonable suspicion to do so. Only 3.7 percent of pedestrian stops resulted in officers issuing a citation or making an arrest.”
  • “We likewise found many instances in which officers strip search individuals without legal justification. In some cases, officers performed degrading strip searches in public, prior to making an arrest, and without grounds to believe that the searched individuals were concealing contraband on their bodies.”
  • “Arrests without probable cause: from 2010–2015, supervisors at Baltimore’s Central Booking and local prosecutors rejected over 11,000 charges made by BPD officers because they lacked probable cause or otherwise did not merit prosecution. Our review of incident reports describing warrantless arrests likewise found many examples of officers making unjustified arrests.”
  • “While the Constitution requires individuals to receive pre-arrest notice of the specific conduct prohibited as loitering or trespassing, BPD officers approach individuals standing lawfully on sidewalks in front of public housing complexes or private businesses and arrest them unless the individuals are able to ‘justify’ their presence to the officers’ satisfaction.”
  • “BPD uses overly aggressive tactics that unnecessarily escalate encounters, increase tensions, and lead to unnecessary force, and fails to de-escalate encounters when it would be reasonable to do so.”
  • “BPD uses excessive force against individuals with mental health disabilities or in crisis. Due to a lack of training and improper tactics, BPD officers end up in unnecessarily violent confrontations with these vulnerable individuals.”
  • “BPD uses unreasonable force against people who present little or no threat to officers or others. Specifically, BPD uses excessive force against (1) individuals who are already restrained and under officers’ control and (2) individuals who are fleeing from officers and are not suspected of serious criminal offenses.”
  • “Our concerns about BPD’s use of excessive force are compounded by BPD’s ineffective oversight of its use of force. Of the 2,818 force incidents that BPD recorded in the nearly six-year period we reviewed, BPD investigated only ten incidents based on concerns identified through its internal review. Of these ten cases, BPD found only one use of force to be excessive.”
  • “BPD violates the First Amendment by retaliating against individuals engaged in constitutionally protected activities. Officers frequently detain and arrest members of the public for engaging in speech the officers perceive to be critical or disrespectful. And BPD officers use force against members of the public who are engaging in protected speech.”

Here are some other excerpts from the report with the headings also written by the Justice Department:

“BPD Conducts Unconstitutional Strip Searches”

“Numerous Baltimore residents interviewed by the Justice Department recounted stories of BPD officers ‘jumping out’ of police vehicles and strip-searching individuals on public streets. BPD has long been on notice of such allegations: in the last five years BPD has faced multiple lawsuits and more than 60 complaints alleging unlawful strip searches. In one of these incidents — memorialized in a complaint that the Department sustained — officers in BPD’s Eastern District publicly strip-searched a woman following a routine traffic stop for a missing headlight. Officers ordered the woman to exit her vehicle, remove her clothes, and stand on the sidewalk to be searched. The woman asked the male officer in charge, ‘I really gotta take all my clothes off?’ The male officer replied ‘yeah’ and ordered a female officer to strip search the woman. The female officer then put on purple latex gloves, pulled up the woman’s shirt and searched around her bra. Finding no weapons or contraband around the woman’s chest, the officer then pulled down the woman’s underwear and searched her anal cavity. This search again found no evidence of wrongdoing and the officers released the woman without charges. Indeed, the woman received only a repair order for her headlight. “

 “BPD Ignored Prosecutors’ Warnings Against Problem Officers”

“Even where prosecutors have provided BPD with specific information on problematic officers who routinely make improper arrests, searches, or seizures, the Department has failed to meaningfully investigate the information or take appropriate action. For several years, the State’s Attorney’s Office maintained a ‘Do Not Call’ list of officers that prosecutors should not subpoena to testify because prosecutors determined that the officers did not testify credibly about their enforcement actions. Although the State’s Attorney’s Office regularly shared this list with BPD, the Department rarely used the information to identify officers who may need support or discipline. As a result, problematic officers remain on the street, detaining, searching, and arresting people even though the State’s Attorney’s Office has determined that it cannot prosecute a crime based on the officers’ testimony. The State’s Attorney’s Office no longer maintains a written ‘Do Not Call’ list, but prosecutors informally maintain a registry of problematic BPD officers who cannot be used to support criminal prosecutions. In recent years, the State’s Attorney’s Office has contacted BPD leadership on several occasions to identify officers that prosecutors determined can no longer testify credibly due to misconduct. In most of these cases, BPD leadership took no action against the identified problem officers.”

“BPD’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Strategy Focused on African American Neighborhoods”

“In some cases, BPD supervisors have instructed their subordinates to specifically target African Americans for enforcement. A sergeant told us that in 2011 her lieutenant — a commander in charge of setting enforcement priorities for an entire police district during the shift — ordered the sergeant to instruct officers under her command to ‘lock up all the black hoodies’ in her district. When the sergeant objected and refused to follow this order, she received an ‘unsatisfactory’ performance evaluation and was transferred to a different unit. The sergeant filed a successful complaint about her performance evaluation with BPD’s Equal Opportunity and Diversity Section, but BPD never took action against the lieutenant for giving the order to target ‘black hoodies’ for enforcement.

“Similarly, as described above, in 2012 a BPD lieutenant provided officers under his command with a template for trespassing arrests that suggested officers would arrest exclusively African-American men for that offense. As in the first example, this directive is especially concerning because it came from a shift commander. These statements targeting African Americans for enforcement reinforce the statistical disparities in enforcement outcomes that we measured. The enforcement activities ordered by the BPD commanders — arresting African Americans for trespassing and finding any possible basis to arrest ‘black hoodies’ — are consistent with the racial disparities we found in BPD’s discretionary stops, searches, and misdemeanor arrests.”

“Racial Disparities in Arrests”

“The racial disparities in BPD’s stops and searches are further reflected in BPD’s arrest practices. From November 2010 – July 2015, BPD charged African Americans with 280,850 criminal offenses, constituting over 86 percent of all charges filed for which the race of the offender is known. Expressed a different way, African Americans in Baltimore were charged with one offense for every 1.4 residents, while individuals of other races were charged with only one offense per 5.1 residents. This discriminatory pattern is particularly apparent in two categories of BPD’s enforcement: (1) warrantless arrests for discretionary misdemeanor offenses such as disorderly conduct and failing to obey an officer’s order; and (2) arrests for drug possession. In both cases, officers arrest African Americans at rates far higher than relevant benchmarks.

“BPD’s warrantless arrests for discretionary misdemeanor offenses exhibit substantial racial disparities. .. Analysis of this data reveals that African Americans account for the overwhelming majority of BPD’s discretionary misdemeanor arrests, and that reviewing officials are more likely to dismiss charges against African Americans—indicating that officers apply a lower standard when making them. As an initial matter, BPD officers arrest African Americans for several common misdemeanor offenses at high rates. Although they make up only 63 percent of Baltimore’s population, African Americans accounted for: 87 percent of the 3,400 charges for resisting arrest; 89 percent of 1,350 charges for making a false statement to an officer; 84 percent of the 4,000 charges for failing to obey an order; 86 percent of the more than 1,000 charges for hindering or obstruction; 83 percent of the roughly 6,500 arrests for disorderly conduct; and 88 percent of the nearly 3,500 arrests for trespassing on posted property.”

“Evidence of Gender Bias in BPD’s Response to Sexual Assault”

“We were also troubled by statements of BPD detectives suggesting an undue skepticism of reports of sexual assault. One victim advocate told us about a detective in the BPD Sex Offense Unit making comments at a party, in the company of BPD officers and victim advocates, that, ‘in homicide, there are real victims; all our cases are bullshit.’ When another person suggested the detective soften the statement, the detective added, ‘Ok, 90 percent.’ We also reviewed e-mail correspondence between a BPD officer and a prosecutor in which they openly expressed their contempt for and disbelief of a woman who had reported a sexual assault: the prosecutor wrote that ‘this case is crazy. . . I am not excited about charging it. This victim seems like a conniving little whore. (pardon my language).’; the BPD officer replied, ‘Lmao! I feel the same.’”

“BPD Arrests People Lawfully Present on Baltimore Streets in Violation of Due Process”

“We found evidence that BPD supervisors have explicitly condoned trespassing arrests that do not meet constitutional standards, and evidence suggesting that trespassing enforcement is focused on public housing developments. A shift commander for one of BPD’s districts emailed a template for describing trespassing arrests to a sergeant and a patrol officer. The template provides a blueprint for arresting an individual standing on or near a public housing development who cannot give a ‘valid reason’ for being there—a facially unconstitutional detention. Equally troubling is the fact that the template contains blanks to be filled in for details of the arrest, including the arrest data and location and the suspect’s name and address, but does not include a prompt to fill in the race or gender of the arrestee. Rather, the words ‘black male’ are automatically included in the description of the arrest. The supervisor’s template thus presumes that individuals arrested for trespassing will be African American. …

“One African-American man in his mid-fifties was stopped 30 times in less than four years. The only reasons provided for these stops were officers’ suspicion that the man was ‘loitering’ or ‘trespassing,’ or was part of a ‘CDS investigation.’ On at least 15 occasions, officers detained the man while they checked to see if he had outstanding warrants. Despite these repeated intrusions, none of the 30 stops resulted in a citation or criminal charge.”

“Racial Disparities in Stop and Searches”

“BPD disproportionately stops African Americans standing, walking, or driving on Baltimore streets. The Department’s data on all pedestrian stops from January 2010 to June 2015 shows that African Americans account for 84 percent of stops 55 despite comprising only 63 percent of the City’s population. Expressed differently, BPD officers made 520 stops for every 1,000 black residents in Baltimore, but only 180 stops for every 1,000 Caucasian residents …

“Closer analysis highlights the impact of these racial disparities. Individual African Americans are far more likely to be subjected to multiple stops within relatively short periods of time. African Americans accounted for 95 percent of the 410 individuals stopped at least ten times by BPD officers from 2010–2015. During this period, BPD stopped 34 African Americans at least 20 times and seven other African Americans at least 30 times. No person of any other race was stopped more than 12 times. One African-American man in his mid-fifties was stopped 30 times in less than four years. The only reasons provided for these stops were officers’ suspicion that the man was ‘loitering’ or ‘trespassing,’ or was part of a ‘CDS investigation.’ On at least 15 occasions, officers detained the man while they checked to see if he had outstanding warrants. Despite these repeated intrusions, none of the 30 stops resulted in a citation or criminal charge.”

“BPD’s Enforcement Activities Disproportionately Impact African Americans”

“The magnitude of the racial differences in BPD’s stops, searches, and arrests are evidence that BPD’s disproportionate enforcement may constitute intentional discrimination. We found consistent racial disparities in BPD’s stops, searches, and arrests that are not attributable to population patterns, crime rates, or other race-neutral factors…

“In addition, BPD’s disproportionate enforcement against African Americans is suggestive of intentional discrimination because the racial disparities are greatest for enforcement activities that involve higher degrees of officer discretion. In the five years of arrest data we reviewed, African Americans accounted for a larger share of charges for highly discretionary misdemeanor offenses than for other offenses, including: 91 percent of those charged solely with trespassing, 91 percent of charges for failing to obey an officer’s orders, 88 percent of those arrested solely for ‘impeding’ and 84 percent of people charged with disorderly conduct. As noted above, booking supervisors and prosecutors dismissed a significantly higher portion of charges made against African Americans for each of these charges. This pattern indicates that, where BPD officers have more discretion to make arrests, they exercise that discretion to arrest African Americans disproportionately. Moreover, the racial disparities in dismissal rates exist only for highly discretionary misdemeanor arrests, not felony arrests. That is, booking officials and prosecutors dismissed charges at nearly identical rates across racial groups for felony charges like first degree assault, burglary, and robbery for which there is little officer discretion about whether to arrest suspects. For every discretionary misdemeanor offense that we examined, however, officials dismissed charges against African Americans at significantly higher rates—indicating that officers apply a lower standard when arresting African Americans for these offenses.”

Other notes from the report:

“BPD officers exercising nearly unfettered discretion to criminalize the act of standing on public sidewalks”

The report outlined numerous examples of black men arrested or stopped merely for walking down the sidewalk, sitting on steps outside a private home or talking outside of a liquor store with their sibling — essentially stopping people on the street for no good legal reason.

“These and similar arrests identified by our investigation reflect BPD officers exercising nearly unfettered discretion to criminalize the act of standing on public sidewalks,”

No good reason for a stop? “Then make something up”

Officers often targeted black pedestrians for stops without reasonable suspicion. Based on a sample of about 7,200 cases, only 1 out of every 27 pedestrian stops resulted in a citation or arrest.

Such stops would often occur under a supervisor’s directive’s to “clear corners,” a practice of stopping and questioning a group and ordering them to scatter. During a ride-along with Justice Department officials, a sergeant told a patrol officer to “clear a corner,” but the patrol officer said he had no reason to stop them.

“The sergeant replied, ‘Then make something up.’”

“‘Officers showed great restraint and professionalism.’”

Illegal stops result in confrontations that can be avoided, the report said.

In one case, police stopped a black man wearing a hoodie in a “high crime area” because he “thought it could be possible that the individual could be out seeking a victim of opportunity.” The incident escalated with police — who had no legal reason to stop the man — beating the man in the face, neck and ribs and deploying a Taser on him twice.

The man was later taken to a hospital, and not charged with any offense. Yet later, the officer’s supervisor determined in a report that the “officers showed great restraint and professionalism.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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58 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    The DOJ is no longer a trusted arm of the government.  Obama has staffed it with race baiters and turned the DOJ into nothing more than a puppet of his regime to do his bidding.  Anytime the current DOJ investigates anyone or any organization over racial matters it’s a guaranteed conclusion that they will find racism.

    1. David Greenwald

      I challenge you to debunk this report in any real way. I think you’re only avenue is to do what you did – try to politically attack and change the subject. If one percent of this report is accurate, it is a complete indictment of Baltimore PD and probably at the core of the distrust of American policing.

      1. Barack Palin

        Just as the fix was in as evidenced by DOJ Attorney General Loretta Lynch privately meeting with Bill Clinton on a plane in Phoenix just weeks before she decided not to indict Hillary the fix was also in on this BPD investigation.  Interesting timing that the report comes out only a week after the six officers were exonerated of all charges.  The DOJ stinks from the head down.

  2. Marina Kalugin

    There is a ton of truth in this report…but, the reasons are not as simple as racism either, yet that is the simplistic answer which many are so tired of hearing…

    “Make something up” has been posted about quite a bit…. not just in this district but in others… in this report and so many others…..it is mind-boggling really…and nowadays with the many cell phone witnesses and the police cams…and cams for businesses that happen to catch officers in violation of the law and filing false police reports and then a cam in the area actually exonerates the supposed criminal.

    A few of my FB friends, who were victims themselves, and yet are while…are now posting many time a day the reports, videos, cellphone recordings, etc… the volume is horrific…and truly unreal.

    There are citizen groups that monitor and share this info now 24/7…..  even if anything in this report isn’t accurate, there is so much more and it is all over the US.

    My stepson is a NJ State Trooper, and he is a truly kind and caring person…I would never expect this kind of behavior from him or most of his colleagues….yet, he is also honest and is aware that such things do happen…

    Anytime there is entrenched power, there can and will be abuses.  In decades past, it was harder to prove…and now the evidence is overwhelming……this goes on and way more than anyone would ever admit before…

     

     

     

  3. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > If one percent of this report is accurate, it is a complete indictment of

    > Baltimore PD and probably at the core of the distrust of American policing.

    Baltimore has about 10x more people than Davis and had about 100x more murders last year. Over 90% of the people murdered in Baltimore last year were black.

    If Davis had a neighborhood where 30 black kids were murdered last year I’m betting David would be asking the cops to do more not less.

    I’m no cop defender and I believe that many Baltimore cops are thugs and criminals, but I also believe that forcing the cops to “back off” in rough neighborhoods are going to result in a lot more funerals for poor black kids…

     

     

  4. Biddlin

    How about getting rid of the cops who cause the problems and begin policing in a moral and humane manner? Just hold police to the same standards of behavior and performance we expect from any other profession and prosecute them when they commit crimes.

      1. Delia .

        Re: quotes from a party, I don’t give those quotes any credibility whatsoever.  I would not ever want to be quoted at a party, or in the privacy of my own home.

        There is enough other evidence of wrongdoing that is described in this article. The party quotes diminish the other, stronger evidence, imho.

         

  5. David Greenwald

    Was just reading this quote from Bobby Kennedy on the date MLK was shot: “What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”

    Until we can get on top of this police issue, we will not get there.

  6. Marina Kalugin

    Bobby was one of the greats…and I worked on his campaign as a young teen –  my first presidential campaign..and my black friends and white friends  at the SF  YMCA  volunteered on his visit to SF  at the GEM parking lot…and I cried again as he was lost to us…..just as MLK was….and these words of wisdom are timeless…

    too many of the greats are lost –  always too many tears…

  7. Davis Progressive

    all one has to do is look at the data on the police stop disparities, it comes from the bpd itself, and see why blacks do not trust the police – they are getting stopped all the time.  who wants that?  there is no evidence that kind of approach makes a community safer – in fact there is evidence that is simply erodes trust over time which has the opposite effect.

  8. South of Davis

    DP wrote:

    > all one has to do is look at the data on the police stop disparities, it comes

    > from the bpd itself, and see why blacks do not trust the police

    Do you think that the “police stop disparity” has anything to do with the “crime disparity” or is it just “racist cops hassling innocent people of color”

    I used to live near Presidio Heights (where I never saw a black person) and drive to Hunters Point (where I rarely saw another white person).

    In Presidio Heights I never saw packs of guys hanging out in the corner selling drugs to people who pulled up in cars, graffiti on the buildings and/or broken glass (aka “ghetto diamonds”) on the ground.

     

    1. Barack Palin

      Yes SOD, you’re right.  By why bother, all we end up doing is rehashing the same old arguments over and over and as much as you make sense you’ll never persuade those that think the world revolves around racism.   Save your breath.

    2. Davis Progressive

      “Do you think that the “police stop disparity” has anything to do with the “crime disparity” or is it just “racist cops hassling innocent people of color””

      no, i don’t think it has to do with either.  88% of the stops are blacks, i don’t think the crime disparity is that high.  on other other hand, most of the stops are not yielding anything – not tickets, not catching criminals.  so it’s not working.  it’s just pissing people off.  read the data.

      1. South of Davis

        DP wrote:

        > 88% of the stops are blacks, i don’t think the crime disparity is that high.

        The Baltimore Sun says that MORE than 90% of the homicide victims were black.

        http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-deadliest-year-20160101-story.html

        > most of the stops are not yielding anything – not tickets, not catching criminals. 

        If you were black and your son was killed would you want the cops to try and find the killer or would you want them to stay home and not pull over any cars that match the description of the car your son’s killers were driving since there is a risk that the stop “might not yield anything”?

        1. Davis Progressive

          my daughter is black, so it’s not so hypothetical.  the problem is that it’s not clear that these stops are helping the cops find the killer so much as discouraging the community from cooperating the police.

        2. South of Davis

          DP wrote:

          >  it’s not clear that these stops are helping the cops find the killer

          It looks like they are helping the cops to find about 1/3 of the killers.

          > so much as discouraging the community from cooperating the police.

          If the “community” did not embrace the “no snitch” rule the cops would have more killers in jail and would not need to keep pulling over every “Buick with custom rims and tinted windows” looking for killers.

          http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/08/04/baltimore-police-have-only-cleared-about-a-third-of-the-citys-murders/

          P.S. I could not find it on line but a couple years back I read an article that shows the cops tend to have good luck solving murders in white areas (like Davis where Daniel Marsh’s friends snitched on him) and not so good luck solving murders in black areas (like the rough parts of Baltimore where gang members won’t snitch on their killer friends)…

          1. David Greenwald

            SOD: The police may be helping to find a third of the killers (a very bad rate by the way), but these tactics are probably reducing the rate of capture rather than increasing them.

        3. Frankly

          but these tactics are probably reducing the rate of capture rather than increasing them.

          I doubt that.  It is a convenient narrative but not backed by any evidence.  In fact, the evidence is that these black communities are likely to devolve to even more crime and more violence with the cops standing down over sensitivity concerns.

          This is really a sort of Lord of The Flies study.  Fatherless boys end up out of control.

    3. Delia .

      Biddlin, Re: neighbors congregating on public streets:

      We used to do that a lot in my south Davis neighborhood. Loved the neighbors night out potlucks.

      I also lived in a lilly white neighborhood in conservative Orange Co. in the 70’s. All the families used to stand in front of our homes and gossip at 9:00 p.m. on the warm summer evenings, waiting to catch a glimpse of the Disneyland fireworks. Also lived in a neighborhood with front porches back east. All races liked to chat from their porches.

      I strongly disagree that only black folks stand around on street corners or on public streets.

      Not true.

      1. Barack Palin

        Did you read what SOD actually wrote?  Were those congregating white people selling drugs on their porch or on the street corner?

        In Presidio Heights I never saw packs of guys hanging out in the corner selling drugs to people who pulled up in cars, graffiti on the buildings and/or broken glass (aka “ghetto diamonds”) on the ground.

  9. Biddlin

    “I used to live near Presidio Heights (where I never saw a black person) and drive to Hunters Point (where I rarely saw another white person).

    In Presidio Heights I never saw packs of guys hanging out in the corner selling drugs to people who pulled up in cars, graffiti on the buildings and/or broken glass (aka “ghetto diamonds”) on the ground.”

    Your point?

        1. South of Davis

          To try and catch killers in criminals in poor minority high crime areas the cops need to stop and talk to more people than they do in rich white low crime areas.

          P.S. Why does an article about the police have firefighters at the top?

        2. Davis Progressive

          sod: that’s ridiculous nonsense.  cops need to follow actual leads, they aren’t going to solve anything by randomly pulling people over.  and when they do, they make the people less likely to cooperate.  i’ve worked in law for over thirty years, your comment shows you haven’t.

    1. Biddlin

      “To try and catch killers in criminals in poor minority high crime areas the cops need to stop and talk to more people than they do in rich white low crime areas.”

      What’s that got to do with :”In Presidio Heights I never saw packs of guys hanging out in the corner selling drugs to people who pulled up in cars(No in Presidio Heights, your dealer arrives in his Mercedes and comes up for wine and cocaine.) graffiti on the buildings and/or broken glass (aka “ghetto diamonds”) on the ground.”

      (First time in my rather well traveled life I’ve encountered the term” Ghetto diamonds.” )

      If there is a lesser police presence in low crime Presidio Heights, how would a greater one translate to less crime in Hunters Point?

      My real interest was in why you chose to share the driving anecdote, replete with code speak. That seemed suspicious to me.

      1. South of Davis

        Biddlin wrote:

        > replete with code speak

        Please explain this “code speak” you think I am using…

        P.S. I would be interested if anyone else in law enforcement would agree with DP that it is “ridiculous nonsense” for cops to talk to people in the area where the crime occurred…

         

  10. Frankly

    Blames “zero tolerance”.

    In other words the Baltimore police should stand down in these high crime black neighborhoods and have more tolerance for suspects, criminals and criminal activity.

    There is plenty in the report that is actionable and is indicative of the Baltimore Police Department needing reform.  But there is also a lot of crap that is indicative of this report being more a political tool than a real professional evaluation of needed police reforms.

    Here is the Dem playbook on this.

    Connect police to Republicans and blacks against police will equate to blacks against Republicans (even though it is Democrat liberal policies that have decimated black opportunity in these neighborhoods that leads to all the crime and violence).  Next, when the crime increases, blame Republicans for being against more social spending to help the poor black community.

    1. Don Shor

      In other words the Baltimore police should stand down

      Seems to me that more effective policing, with better training, would be preferable to having the “police stand down.” You are the one that keeps using that term. It isn’t the preferred reform that I’ve seen put forth anywhere.

      1. Frankly

        I am for better training, but I would put more cops in these neighborhoods.

        Here is maybe a better explanation of the point.

        Set a line in your mind’s eye that represents a neighborhood average moral behavior.

        Think about what that is in Davis.  Think about what that is in other neighborhoods.

        Unfortunately that line is very low for most poor urban neighborhoods with a high concentration of black residents.  That is statistically proven.  More crime and more violence.  A much lower bar for what is standard moral behavior.

        Now say you live in one of those low-moral bar neighborhoods.  It is your culture.  Your life.  Your standards that you have grown accustom to.

        Now here come the cops because they are trained to go after those behaving below a moral bar.  In fact, that law enforcement bar would tend to be set relative to what it is in surrounding communities… or maybe even different neighborhoods within the same community.

        What were are really hearing from BLM and the social justice crusaders is for the cops to change their thinking about the bar of moral behavior… to just accept that the poor urban black community tends to operate at a lower level and to leave the kids alone unless responding to an absolute report of crime already committed.

        This is in fact a bit of reverse institutional racism being advocated for hypocritically under the false auspice of racism.

        The black neighborhood is much more crime-ridden and violent, and so law enforcement gives it more attention.  This is causing race sensitivity.

        I would do the opposite.  I would say that we care so much about raising the moral bar to be equal to other neighborhoods, that we are going to put more cops on the streets and stop more people to make sure everyone is behaving well.

        1. Davis Progressive

          putting more cops in the neighborhoods is fine, but that’s not the issue here. the issue is how those cops conduct themselves – have you actually read this stuff?  can you defend any of it?

        2. Don Shor

          I am for better training, but I would put more cops in these neighborhoods.

          Yes, more better-trained cops in those neighborhoods would be good. Even better, more of them from the community itself. I’m no expert on any of this, but it doesn’t seem like rocket science. It just needs more money.

    2. Davis Progressive

      there is no democratic play book.  hillary is a reluctant adherent.  in fact, her husband was part of hte problem that caused this.  democrats are reacting to this stuff belatedly.

      1. Frankly

        Why I used a large D for “Democrat”… I am talking about the Democrat Party apparatus.  I know that there are registered Democrat voters not in tune with their party just as there are GOP voters not in tune with their Party.  However, the Dem Party has definitely been taken over by the liberal wing.  Hillary has drifted there too noting the Bernie Sanders syndrome.

        My sense here is that cops in general are not so much racially biased as they are biased about certain neighborhoods and the people that live in those neighborhoods.  And I say for good reasons.   If you were an infantryman, you would tend to have a difference opinion and approach in Falluja Iraq compared to Baghdad Iraq.

  11. Biddlin

    “If you were an infantryman, you would tend to have a difference opinion and approach in Falluja Iraq compared to Baghdad Iraq.”

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  12. Davis Progressive

    frankly and bp explain this one away: “Arrests without probable cause: from 2010–2015, supervisors at Baltimore’s Central Booking and local prosecutors rejected over 11,000 charges made by BPD officers because they lacked probable cause or otherwise did not merit prosecution.”  this has nothing to do with crime rate.

  13. Davis Progressive

    how about this one: “We likewise found many instances in which officers strip search individuals without legal justification. In some cases, officers performed degrading strip searches in public, prior to making an arrest, and without grounds to believe that the searched individuals were concealing contraband on their bodies.”  i don’t think any of you guys read any of this – you just give your pat answers.  this is really messed up stuff.  Defend it BP????

    1. Frankly

      On the surface, this appears to be a bullying tactic.  I agree that it sounds terrible and mean and worthy of scorn and anger against the cops.  Then again, my Federal regulator treats my business like I would keep two sets of books and pay myself a million dollar salary and make risky loans that US tax-payers would have to cover… even though my business has the top compliance marks in the industry… because some of my peers in the industry did these things.  They frankly (because I am) about strip search me when they audit.  Sure sucks to be treated so unfairly.

  14. ryankelly

    I don’t think that the mission of policing is clear to some officers with military training in their background.  It seems to be that protecting themselves and other officers as a group is the highest purpose.  This may serve well in the military, but policing in a community is not a war zone.  It requires some intelligence to override military training in this environment.  Would the officer in 2011 pepper-sprayed students on the Quad if he had truly understood his role was to protect from harm those very students?  Or did the Officer fall back on his training to “protect his guys” as a vague concept?

    I recently watched a movie, “Straight Outta Compton.”  It illustrated what young black men experience from their viewpoint – the injustice of being stopped and the humiliation and residual anger that they feel.  As a white person, I feel that I would be able to protest being stopped for no good reason, but black men do not have that privilege, even when others with that privilege speak on their behalf.   I don’t know what the solution is to this.

  15. Delia .

    Solution has to include neighborhood unification where cops see people as individuals and not clumped altogether as good guys vs. bad guys

    Cops need to learn as many first names as they can. Get in on a basketball pick up game. Go to school events. Find a barber shop to get your hair cut. Yes, buy donuts and coffee. Learn as much about your assigned neighborhood as humanly possible in the scope of your day. For Gods sake, get a decent nights sleep. Read a good book or play a video game with a teen in your assigned neighborhood. Speak up if someone tells you to “just make something up.” Women cops, teach free self defense classes to teens. Find common ground. Stand on the corner. too. Just to say “hi”.

  16. Biddlin

    “Solution has to include neighborhood unification where cops see people as individuals and not clumped altogether as good guys vs. bad guys”

    Us v. them is deeply ingrained in cop culture. From officer.com, a police blog:

    http://forums.officer.com/t5670/

    Here is a mild excerpt:

    “First of all, civilians are so godd*** stupid!!. They leave s*** lying around, just begging thieves
    to steal it. They park cars in high crime areas and leave portable TVs, cameras, wallets,
    purses, coats, luggage, grocery bags and briefcases in plain view on the seat.
    Oh, sure maybe they’ll remember to close all the windows and lock the doors, but do you know
    how easy it is to bust a car window?. How fast can it be done? A f***ing snot nose ten year
    old can do it in less than six seconds, a skilled low life scum bag thief a**hole can do it in his
    sleep!!
    And a poor cop has another Burglary from motor vehicle report on his hands, another report to
    waste a half hour on. Meanwhile the a**hole who left the family heirlooms on the back seat in
    the first place is raising hell, “Where were the cops when my car was being looted!!”, he’s
    planning to write irate letters to the mayor, the police commissioner, FBI, ACLU, CIA and
    Democratic National Party to complain about how lousy the police force is, I mean my God they
    can’t even keep a car from getting ripped off, what were they doing, off drinking coffee
    somewhere???”

    The problem is neither new nor limited to a few “rogue” officers.

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