Police Abuse

Federal Court Allows Civil Rights Case Against Baltimore Cop Who Inspired a Character on The Wire


At the Maryland Appellate Blog, Jonathan Biran reports on a recent federal court ruling that centers on two subjects near and dear to the hearts of libertarians: alleged police misconduct and David Simon's acclaimed HBO series The Wire. Biran writes:

On September 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion in Owens v. Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office et al., largely vacating a lower court's dismissal of a [federal civil rights] action brought by James Owens seeking damages for wrongful conduct by Baltimore City police officers and an assistant state's attorney that, Owens alleges, resulted in his spending more than two decades in prison for a rape and murder he didn't commit. If Owens can prove his allegations of intentional suppression of exculpatory evidence by police, it will be a tremendous black eye for the Baltimore City Police Department and perhaps in particular for Jay Landsman, a former BCPD detective sergeant who lent his name to a character in HBO's The Wire and who also acted in that series.

Read the rest here.

(Thanks to How Appealing for the link.)

Click below to see why Reason TV recently named The Wire one of the "5 best libertarian TV shows ever."

NEXT: Forget Secession. Americans Want to Boot California From the Union.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The amazing thing about this case is the District Court judge. He granted summary judgement. That means he found that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, the cop and DA can’t be held personally liable. So that judge ruled that a cop and a DA who know a person is innocent and obstruct justice to suppress the evidence which proves the person’s innocence, still do not lose their qualified immunity protection. I would love to hear what a cop or DA would have to do to loose qualified immunity. He should just stop calling it qualified immunity and call it what it is, immunity.

  2. While the show had a (possibly accidental) libertarian bent, the individual actions of the cops during interrogations were definitely not libertarian and outright corrupt– even the cops we liked in the show.

    We knew many of the perps were guilty because we saw their criminal actions played out in the show. But if this shit was going on in real life, I wouldn’t shed a tear if the real cops who inspired the characters lost their pensions.

  3. The current status of American civilian policing is both disgusting and frightening.

    Today’s cops…at any level….are best left alone, just as you would stay away from street gangs, mafia, islamics, Marxists, socialists and leftists.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.