Police Abuse

Baltimore Police Union Compares Freddie Gray Protesters to ‘Lynch Mob’

Protesters have questions about Gray's mysterious death; the union hears demands for officers' "immediate imprisonment"

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via CBS13

For whatever reason, police unions seem to have a knack at making tone-deaf comments at inappropriate times when poor actions by its members gets more attention than the union's used to. The eyebrow-raising death of Freddie Gray from an unexplained spinal injury suffered while in custody has led to protests in Baltimore, a city whose taxpayers paid out $5.7 million in the last four years to settle more than 100 complaints of misconduct against the police department.

The police union shrugs off the amount—weak tea compared to the $1 million a week Chicago, a little more than twice the size of Baltimore, spends on police brutality lawsuits—as indicative of the city's unwillingness to take the cases to court, which could cost more money in litigation, and has called protests seeking justice for Freddie Gray a "lynch mob." The union insists there's "no indication of any criminal activity whatsoever" and claims protesters want the cops "imprisoned immediately." They've been suspended with pay. The statement from the union, via CNN:

"While we appreciate the right of our citizens to protest and applaud the fact that, to date, the protests have been peaceful, we are very concerned about the rhetoric of the protests," the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 said in a statement.

"In fact, the images seen on television look and sound much like a lynch mob in that they are calling for the immediate imprisonment of these officers without them ever receiving the due process that is the constitutional right of every citizen, including law enforcement officers."

If I were found next to the body of a police officer who had suffered a fatal spine injury I'm not sure I'd get the same benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, when the union says the six officers involved in the deadly interaction with Gray deserve due process like any other citizen they're correct, even if they don't apply the same idea in their own practices.

But that right to due process is, or ought to be, limited to civil and criminal convictions. In an incident with as many questions surrounding it as the police interaction with Gray has, local governments ought to have the power to discipline police officers outside of the criminal process and outside, even, of the administrative process. Tone-deaf union statements like this one in the wake of controversial deaths in police custody help illustrate the danger of permitting public employees, especially those who are armed and ordered to use force to gain compliance, to unionize. When the union says it's "concerned" about peaceful protest, it's not a representative of a voluntary association of employees speaking, but the representative of a body of employees who have the exclusive right to wield weapons on behalf of the government in a certain geographic area.

Careless officers, reckless officers, officers who can't explain fatal spine injuries to suspects in their custody or why they chased someone just because they ran, don't belong in uniform. That's not a matter of "due process" for the government employee, a position that's a privilege not a right, but a matter of public safety and keeping dangerous elements off the streets. Those dangerous, uniformed elements shouldn't be afforded the privileges decades of public union-friendly governments in cities like Baltimore have carved out for them.

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90 responses to “Baltimore Police Union Compares Freddie Gray Protesters to ‘Lynch Mob’

  1. The irony is just lost on them, isn’t it?

  2. Baltimore Police Union Compares Freddie Gray Protesters to ‘Lynch Mob’

    If only it actually were.

    1. I’m sad that I’m at the point where I agree with this. The rule of law is important, but it’s obviously completely failed when it comes to police brutality. At some point there will be literal lynch mobs, because there’s no other option.

        1. Does lynching necessarily involve killing, or could that be a kind of lynch mob?

          1. The definitions I just looked up to confirm my understanding indicated that the lynch mob’s purpose is to kill an individual or group, and generally setting out to so without determining guilt.

      1. Until qualified immunity is stripped from police and they are held personally liable for their actions (like every other person in this country) they will continue to be tone deaf. I don’t want it to get to this point but someone will start hunting police in the near future because of their actions and it further erode our freedoms.

        And fuck you Liberty(for some)Mike. If military personnel did this shit in a combat zone they would likely already be in the brig waiting on formal charges and a court marshal. No one here likes how our military is used but the vitriolic hate you have for everyone who puts on a uniform is unbelievable. Even the most cop hating people around here will acknowledge when an individual officer does the right thing. The police have more “freedom” and less consequences for their actions than military personnel do. In case I didn’t mention it, go fuck yourself with a red hot poker.

        1. I like the cut of your jib, Private.

        2. According to Amnesty International, the United States military has systematically covered up or disregarded compelling evidence of war crimes, torture and unlawful killings in Afghanistan.

          Amnesty asseverates that the military has routinely failed to properly investigate reports of criminal behavior by soldiers and has tampered with evidence in order to conceal the crimes committed by American soldiers.

          In one case, Muhammad Tahir said that he was forced to listen to the dying gasps and sobs of his daughter, who was seven months pregnant, after having been shot dead by American soldiers. There were several other people who were killed by American soldiers during a party in Khabata to celebrate the birth of a grandson. Tahir is still waiting for justice.

          In its report, Amnesty cited 10 incidents in which at least 140 civilians, including 50 children, were killed by US soldiers, in what are described as “dubious circumstances.”

          1. Spare us the myth that military personnel are better than the cops.

            Also, please keep in mind that a large and growing percentage of cops are veterans.

            As Free Society pointed out yesterday, Private FUQ does not engage in reasoned argumentation supported by facts.

            1. Hey, tell us more about allopathy.

              1. What do you want to know?

                1. I recently overdosed on allopathic medicine. I didn’t take it.

                  1. You mean homeopathic medicine. Allopathy means the stuff that works.

                    1. Why did the allopaths lobby government, successfully, for years to make chiropractic illegal?

                      Those who lobby government to make their snake oil required while simultaneously lobbying government to make illegal the treatments of others are, in Warty’s world, those who one should follow and trust and those critical of that regime are to be considered crazy.

                      Brilliant.

                    2. Those who lobby government to make their snake oil required while simultaneously lobbying government to make illegal the treatments of others are, in Warty’s world, those who one should follow and trust and those critical of that regime are to be considered crazy.

                      Yes, yes, that’s all well and good, but what about the killer vaccines that are killing people? That’s what I want to know!

                    3. I would just as soon let all the medicinal options be made legal and available at consumer’s discretion. It an open market, the best ideas rise to the top of consumer demand. Not that this issue has a god damn thing to do with that bureaucracy of gunmen.

                    4. The fact that MDs are rent seeking parasites trying to use government regulation to stifle competition (just like everyone else) really says nothing about the validity of the kind of medicine they practice.

            2. Free Society has his opinion (which I actually respect BTW) and I may go a little overboard sometimes but for you to say I don’t engage reasoned argumentation after seeing your “reasoned argumentation” on vaccinations is ……… hilarious.

              1. Thy elide.

                1. Don’t you threaten me, Libertymike. I’m well armed with the latest homeopathic weaponry and I will defend myself if I have to.

                    1. *waves back

                  1. What, you playing Iran to my evil empire?

                  2. “latest homeopathic weaponry” ?

                    Is that the latest nickname for one of your sexual torture devices in your basement?

                    /covers ass with steel plate

                    1. I’ve diluted the gunpowder down to 30 ppb. You know what that means, dipshit? It means it’ll fuck your shit up faster than you can say Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, you fucking toady of the fucking allopathic-congressional complex. COME AT ME BRO

                    2. Warty’s weapon runs on being the memory of a weapon.

                    3. the memory of a weapon

                      Sounds like a Star Trek episode: TOS episode title.

                    4. If it was a Star Trek movie we would go back in time to destroy the weapon before Warty could use the weapon.

              2. After finding the reference……never mind on the respect. One post by me gets me hammered but several by “black blood” gets crickets.

  3. It’s incredible. That clown should lose his job before he incites a riot.

      1. But not the ugliest thing…

        1. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling confidence in the country’s law enforcement officers…

  4. They are going to keep fucking around until they get a real lynch mob. You cannot deny people justice forever. They will eventually take matters into their own hands. It is astounding how short sighted and arrogant union leaders so often are. He thinks he is helping his members by ensuring they can get away with anything up to including murder. At some point there will be a backlash and it is going to be ugly. The worst part is that all of these guilty cops walking is likely going to result in an innocent cop going to jail when it gets to a point that nothing but a conviction will satiate the public.

    These assholes are destroying the rule of law and our country with it.

    1. They were a real lynch mob. Broke a guy’s back for no particular reason, hog-tied him, then dragged him around until he died. That’s a lynching.

      1. Yes they were. And people will not take that kind of abuse forever. At some point people will stand up if they are pushed far enough. Cops are so fucking stupid. They have no idea how docile and law abiding the American public is and how easily that could change.

        1. Why do you think they’re stocking up on military gear? I think they’re looking forward to an opportunity to indiscriminately mow people down from inside armored vehicles.

          1. If they are, they are even dumber than we think they are. There is nothing worse than fighting an unwilling and violent population. They think this shit is all fun and games and that will change the moment there really is a war on cops in this country. As reason has shown, statistically being a cop is a pretty safe profession. Let that change and start seeing large numbers of cops actually get killed, and these assholes will just stop showing up to work. They have no idea what an actual war looks like and would not no part of one if it ever happened.

            1. You are talking about a middle class revolt – which would be fast, brutal, and decisive. Not the urban poor. That’s why the police tread much more lightly in the suburbs.

              http://freenorthcarolina.blogs…..us-at.html

              1. You are right Drake. And the cops do I think for that reason, though they seem to be getting braver and more stupid and are treading less lightly than they once did.

                1. There’s a good reason that big city police chiefs are big on gun control, and it’s not just because they’re all angling to run for mayor. They realize how much the natives hate them.

            2. Yes. It’s amazing how brave a badge makes a guy, and how quick he will run when that badge turns from symbolic protection into a target designator.

              Cowardly Officious Public Servants

            3. There is nothing worse than fighting an unwilling and violent population.

              Are you talking to Private FUQ?

    2. Another way you know it’s not just a couple “bad apples” is because very few if any officers complain when their union/department representatives make them all look bad. If you really believed there was a “war on cops” and that public perceptions were at an all-time low, why on Earth would you stand by quietly as somebody else tarnishes the uniform? Actual honest-to-God mobs don’t bother with standards of evidence or properly assigning blame. An innocent cop’s safety is just as much on the line as a guilty cop. Yet nary a peep of dissent can be heard.

      1. I agree. I am at heart a very law and order kind of person. I don’t hate law enforcement and would not want to live in a world without it. It is my understanding of the importance of law enforcement that makes me hate these people even more. They are destroying what should be a noble and important profession.

      2. Probably because the few cops who would like to tone down the rhetoric would get lynched by the rest of the rank and file.

    3. Completely ignorant about the rule of law. If he thinks the cops should get treated like everybody else, they would be sitting in jail awaiting trial for their involvement in a violent crime until the jury sorts it out.

      1. Thousands of people in this country every year get arrested for crimes they did not commit, fail to make bail, and spend months in jail before finally being exonerated if they are lucky. Meanwhile, they lose their jobs and homes and lives while they rot in jail for a crime they did not commit and have not been convicted of. And this asshole is upset people want these jerks in jail.

        1. Some guys get thrown in jail and then spends another year behind bars after a DNA test proves he weren’t the rapist. Annnnnndddddd……. I can’t find the link. The story was linked here 2 days ago.

          1. Damn do I need to get some coffee. That whole comment should have been aborted. It hurts me to reread it.

          2. Here’s the link. I posted it originally (though I got it from Popehat). http://www.baltimoresun.com/ne…..story.html

            1. Thanks. The lack of coffee plus my morning pain pill kicking in is screwing with my Google Fu. Along with my “reasoned argumentation”.

        2. Even if they can make bail, I’ve heard that having pending felony charges is even worse for employment prospects than being a convict.

    4. The rule of law was pretty fucked as soon as people started making laws to protect people from themselves. But the police certainly aren’t helping. Some day they are going to face a real, no-shit lynch mob. The question is will they have the sense to let it happen, or start mowing people down with machine guns or something?

  5. “… the due process that is the constitutional right of every citizen…who is a police officer”

    1. “Due process” to a union worker means the terms of his union contract. Hell, I’ve heard government workers describe the terms of the Pendleton Act as “civil liberties”. These people are so insulated from the real world that they have no idea what these words mean to us peons. The bitter irony of course being that they are the ones responsible for making our lives more difficult in the first place.

  6. Harris shooting update: The training officer of the reserve deputy that murdered Harris is currently in jail for murder.

    Murderers training murderers… it’s the circle… the circle of LIFE!

    1. Oh, and the judge assigned to the Harris case? He used to be a Tulsa deputy…

    2. It goes back to the fact that our solution to everything for like 40 years has been “more cops on the streets”. There are only so many people who want to be cops and are cut out to do it. So as police forces have expanded, they have ended up hiring more and more nuts and outright criminals to fill the ranks.

  7. I can’t say I’m in favor of an actual lynch mob…but maybe it would give people some perspective.

    1. It would just be an excuse to clampdown even harder.

      1. So you got someone to boss around
        It makes you feel big now

        1. You drift until you brutalize
          You made your first kill now

    2. I can’t say I’m in favor of an actual lynch mob

      Mobs are emotional and mindless and so I agree with you there but at some point the only recourse will be violence. I am concerned that we are already there.

      1. At some point the only option left is to start shooting. I don’t think we’re there, but maybe if I was a black kid in the hood I might think differently. I dunno.

      2. I think we are to the point where it would be justified. But I agree it probably wouldn’t be good in terms of outcome. Unless they manage to provoke a real middle-class uprising.

      3. Sounds like a jury of their peers then.

  8. there is sooo much wrong with this article im not sure where to start,,but lets try this one small snippet,it is AGAINST the LAW of the land to run away from the police..just that simple act is enough to make a arrest….

    1. Running way from a cop who has not attempted to make contact with you is not a crime.

      1. This can’t be pointed out enough. Thanks sarcasmic, I had forgotten this point.

        1. It doesn’t really matter though. Since cops aren’t subject to the laws they enforce, are not expected to know the laws they enforce, and are assumed to have good intentions all the time, they can chase you down and kill you for running away from them even though it’s not a crime.

          1. I know how much you love these. Enjoy.

            1. The image at the end is so fucking hilarious I want to puke. A cop with angel wings made of the American flag shelters the helpless little girl from the darkness of the world.

            2. Unless there is hard evidence proving otherwise, I assume they all deserved it.

    2. So running from the police should be a death sentence? Let me guess, “She was asking for it for wearing that mini skirt”, is okay as well?

    3. So, just so I understand, you’re okay with unarmed men and women being summarily executed by the police, even for nonviolent offenses like drug possession or failed child support payments?

    4. it is AGAINST the LAW of the land to run away from the police..just that simple act is enough to make a arrest….

      Wrong, Tulpa. Supreme Court precedent says that running from the police, without anything else, cannot be used as probable cause for arrest.

      And even if it was, the punishment is not fucking death by having your spine severed.

      1. Supreme Court precedent says that running from the police, without anything else, cannot be used as probable cause for arrest.

        Yet nothing happens to cops when they ignore this, so it doesn’t matter.

        1. It matters a little bit. You won’t be convicted if they press the charges. But you may have already had the crap beaten out of you, or if you are unlucky you may be dead.

          1. It’s amazing that such an act is not considered probable cause for an arrest, detention or search and yet it works just fine as a legal justification for your murder.

    5. No. It isn’t against the law to run from police. They will try to arrest you if you do. But you won’t get convicted unless you were under arrest.

    6. but lets try this one small snippet,it is AGAINST the LAW of the land to run away from the police

      To whose life, liberty, or property has damage been done when someone runs away from the police?

    7. Arrest… murder, a distinction without a difference, eh?

  9. Chicago is almost 4 1/2 times the size of Baltimore.

    /quibble

    1. I’m also having a difficult time believing that Chicago police are actually 36 1/2 times more brutal than Baltimore’s. Are these numbers accurate or even useful for making such a comparison?

  10. I’m ready to wave my right to due process. Just beat the shit out of me, leave me on the street and let my family pick up my battered body. Give the cops full immunity and let em go. The system you have now means you can act in accordance with your natural rights, get beat, arrested, thrown in a cage, maybe get out after a few months. Then maybe you get a sham of an internal investigation, during which the cops get paid to sit on their asses. If you’re lucky you get a settlement paid for by money taken at gunpoint from other citizens. Screw that. Just taze me bro.

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  12. It strikes me that police union complaints and protests are less than convincing, a lot less.

  13. If that union official wants to see what a real lynch mob looks like, he should keep flapping his man pleaser.

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