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Baltimore: The Next Ferguson?


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54 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

 

- This probably isn't on your list of concerns but it matters.

- I will keep harping on it I guess.

You need institutional reforms. If people just pound the computers and protest and march - I'm sorry BFD - you need to make changes across the board. That means changing the types of politicians you elect to the city council and to the mayor - dump the current organizations, oppose them. Are you just going to support whatever the next candidate from Rawlings-Blake's group is or will be? Don't. And call for real changes in terms of what the public has access to and in terms of the actual org chart of government. .

So a PD that has greater transparency where crimes are honestly reported, where they are posted online and where reporters and citizens can examine what is being reported and how it's reported is an important reform. It leads to greater transparency in the department itself. Get a Police Monitor and put all the crime and arrest data online with mapping.

Wait - so you are blaming the citizens getting their asses beaten for the corruption of the ### beaters? 

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I don't begrudge anyone their right to say whatever they want. I just come at this thread from the totally opposite point of view from most of the posters. Most of you don't care about Baltimore, you

Anyone reading this thread knows my point of view. I think a number of police officers essentially ended the life of a man who wasn't breaking any laws, and need to be held accountable for that crime.

Yes, that is an oversimplification, and likely also a mischaracterization.    People aren't arguing that environment doesn't have a large influence on your life.  Most people are arguing that they're

1 hour ago, whoknew said:

Yea I don't think anyone is advocating ripping apart every department. At least I'm not. Just the ones that have real problems and real issues. Like, for example, the BPD - at least according to the DOJ report.

Everything I've read about Dallas, though for example, is that the DPD is fantastic and a model of what a big city police department should be. No need for the DOJ to rip them apart.

What do you mean - "this stuff is fairly easily measured"?

Crime statistics, retention, arrests, etc. I don't think it will be difficult to determine the long-term impact of going through this.

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Just now, jonessed said:

Crime statistics, retention, arrests, etc. I don't think it will be difficult to determine the long-term impact of going through this.

If you believe David Simon, then you are going to need some serious auditing of those statistics.

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Just now, whoknew said:

Wait - so you are blaming the citizens getting their asses beaten for the corruption of the ### beaters? 

:confused:

Seems like he's just saying that the corruption stems from the political leadership.

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1 minute ago, jonessed said:

:confused:

Seems like he's just saying that the corruption stems from the political leadership.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into this paragraph from Saints:

"If people just pound the computers and protest and march - I'm sorry BFD - you need to make changes across the board. That means changing the types of politicians you elect to the city council and to the mayor - dump the current organizations, oppose them. Are you just going to support whatever the next candidate from Rawlings-Blake's group is or will be? Don't. And call for real changes in terms of what the public has access to and in terms of the actual org chart of government."

--

But it seems like that's saying the citizens aren't doing enough to stop the cops from violating their civil rights. Seems like a ####ed up place to place the blame.

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11 minutes ago, whoknew said:

Wait - so you are blaming the citizens getting their asses beaten for the corruption of the ### beaters? 

Wrong.

I'm saying if you and they and we want change there has to be institutional change.

Saying hey let's better police officers and better procedures is not going to cut it.

You need to make reforms - new offices with independent powers - IG, Police Mointor, bring in the DOJ, posting all crime stats and police investigation stats online.

And the people who are upset about this have to look at the politicians who have been calling the shots. If there are machines or political groups who have been getting elected and running the PD, throw them out and bring in reformers.

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Just now, whoknew said:

Perhaps I'm reading too much into this paragraph from Saints:

"If people just pound the computers and protest and march - I'm sorry BFD - you need to make changes across the board. That means changing the types of politicians you elect to the city council and to the mayor - dump the current organizations, oppose them. Are you just going to support whatever the next candidate from Rawlings-Blake's group is or will be? Don't. And call for real changes in terms of what the public has access to and in terms of the actual org chart of government."

--

But it seems like that's saying the citizens aren't doing enough to stop the cops from violating their civil rights. Seems like a ####ed up place to place the blame.

They elect their representatives.  If there is a long history of failed leadership and accountability then they share in some of the blame.

That doesn't put the blame on any specific victim, but it does mean the citizenry shares in the disfunction.  It's no different than any other election.

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6 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Wrong.

I'm saying if you and they and we want change there has to be institutional change.

Saying hey let's better police officers and better procedures is not going to cut it.

You need to make reforms - new offices with independent powers - IG, Police Mointor, bring in the DOJ, posting all crime stats and police investigation stats online.

And the people who are upset about this have to look at the politicians who have been calling the shots. If there are machines or political groups who have been getting elected and running the PD, throw them out and bring in reformers.

Fair enough. :thumbup:

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  • 5 months later...

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/doj-baltimore-consent-decree/512945/?utm_source=feed

Baltimore Police Agree to Stop Abusing Their Power

Under a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, the troubled force will employ a variety of measures to protect constitutional rights and correct racial disparities.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Baltimore announced an agreement to reform the city’s troubled police department on Thursday. The 227-page document lays out a detailed plan for the Baltimore police to try to correct egregious violations of constitutional rights, racial disparities in their practices, excessive use of force, and a culture of retaliation against whistleblowers. The agreement could represent one of the last hurrahs for the police-reform movement before the Trump administration takes office.

The agreement, which the city voted to fund Thursday morning, even before it had been made public, resolves a federal investigation that began with the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in April 2015. That death provoked widespread demonstrations in the streets of the Charm City, and some rioting, drawing the spotlight to a long history of racial division and unequal policing in Baltimore. While a prosecutor’s bid to convict officers for their role in Gray’s death failed, the Justice Department produced a stomach-churning report last August.

The report found, for example, that Baltimore police tended to make frequent stops and arrests, even when there was no useful law-enforcement reason for it, and often at the expense of community relations. But the problem ran much deeper: Police often made stops and arrests that fell afoul of constitutional protections. Many stops ended with no citation or arrest, and even when they did, booking officers often rejected charges as too flimsy—doing so 11,000 times between 2010 and 2015. Sometimes cops rounded up large numbers of people, then “unarrested” them when they determined they had no grounds for it. Justice also found that people were often arrested simply for exercising their First Amendment rights by criticizing or talking back to officers.

But those most likely to be arrested were disproportionately African Americans and people in heavily African American neighborhoods. Blacks were more likely to be arrested for minor, apparently pretextual violations like throwing dice—for which 99 percent of arrestees were black. The problem was so bad that boilerplate language provided to officers for logging arrests assumed by default that suspects would be black males. African Americans were also more likely to be exposed to excessive use of force.

 

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  • 1 year later...

Just want to point out that any negative comments I made about the Baltimore Police have been shown to be shockingly tame, compared to the reality of what's currently playing out in a federal trial taking down a shockingly corrupt "elite" police unit. These guys have been running a huge criminal gang, brazenly stealing cash from dealers, as well as drugs which they then resold themselves. They carry around BB guns which they can throw down after shooting guys in cold blood, to claim the victim had a weapon.

Good summary here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2018/02/01/the-jaw-dropping-fall-of-an-elite-baltimore-police-unit-validates-the-need-for-federal-oversight/?utm_term=.78c6e56186a1

Some highlights.

Quote

 

[Former detective Jemell] Rayam testified about a July 2016 robbery of a married couple who were handcuffed after leaving Home Depot and taken to a police substation nicknamed “The Barn,” even though there was no evidence they had committed any crime. The indictment alleges that Gun Trace Task Force supervisor Sgt. Wayne Jenkins posed as a federal official during their interrogation.

After Ronald Hamilton disclosed he had about $40,000 in cash at the couple’s house outside the city, Gun Trace Task Force detectives drove the handcuffed couple to their Carroll County property, called a relative to pick up their children, and then scoured the house looking for cash, according to Rayam.

Before detaining the couple, Jenkins submitted an affidavit asking for authorization to search the home based on phony surveillance that never took place.

They robbed $20,000 before calling other law enforcement agencies to the couple’s home, Rayam testified, saying he “took the cash and put it in the (police) vehicle we were driving.”

Maryland State Police was called to execute a search warrant because the Baltimore unit was outside the city and therefore this was an out-of-jurisdiction warrant for the detectives.

Prosecutors allege they just wanted to rob the couple based on suspicions they were drug dealers — not actual evidence.

Rayam testified the detectives divvied up the money and went celebrating that night at two casinos.

 

Quote

 

[Former detective Maurice] Ward testified that his squad would prowl the streets for guns and drugs, with his supervisor, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, driving fast at groups of people and slamming on the brakes. The officers would pop their doors open to see who ran, then give chase and detain and search them. Ward said this occurred 10 to 20 times on slow nights, and more than 50 times, “easy,” on busier nights.

The officers had no reason to target the crowds other than to provoke someone who might have drugs or a gun into running.

 

 

Quote

• Ward testified that he and [Marcus] Taylor once conducted a “trash run” on a home in preparation for obtaining a search warrant. They found marijuana residue in the target’s trash, but realized the trash can belonged to another resident. They proceeded anyway, submitting an affidavit for a search warrant falsely claiming the drugs had been found in the target’s trash can.

Some truly astonishing testimony today about the leader of this unit bragging about looting the pharmacies during the Freddie Gray uprising.

 

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