Freddie Gray

The Baltimore Police: More Equal Than Others

The special rights that police have written for themselves embolden abusers.

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It's been a month since Freddie Gray died in police custody and the Baltimore police have yet to provide any

Baltimore Protests
Arash Azizzada / Source / CC BY-NC

answers. The results of an internal investigation that was supposed to answer some key questions were handed to state authorities yesterday but the public will have to wait god knows how long.

That should be enough to set any self-respecting citizenry's teeth on edge, as the ongoing protests show it is doing! But what's truly infuriating is that all this delay is built into a process whose chief purpose is not to protect the public, not deliver justice but for the police's own self- protection.  Indeed, the entire investigation into Gray's death seems to be a giant exercise in ass covering, aided by what the ACLU calls one of the country's most extreme "law enforcement officers bill of rights."

Perhaps because of this lack of accountability, the Baltimore Police Department has amassed an impressive record of police brutality, I note in my morning column at The Week:

A Baltimore Sun investigation found that between 2011 and 2014, the Baltimore Police Department paid about $5.7 million in settlement or court-awarded verdicts to victims of police brutality (and spent an equal amount in legal fees), a figure that would certainly be much, much higher if municipal damages in most instances weren't capped at a measly $200,000. (Cleveland and Dallas have paid between $500,000 and more than $1 million to settle individual police misconduct cases.) Indeed, since 2012, 3,048 complaints have been filed against 850 BPD officers — or nearly 30 percent of its police force. In most instances, the accused officers remain employed because it is very difficult to fire a police officer without an actual conviction, thanks to the police bill of rights and other protections. And most cases don't reach that stage.

 Go here to view the whole thing.

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  1. But what’s truly infuriating is that all this delay is built into a process whose chief purpose is not to protect the public, not deliver justice but for the police’s own self- protection.

    There’s a war on police. Haven’t you heard? Anyway, they’re waiting for the next blizzard before they release the details of how the police officers had nothing to do with Gray’s death.

    1. A blizzard in Baltimore? I think they had better change that strategy to wait for another water main break to flood half the west side, or just hope that the rioters fall into one of the giant pot holes in the street at night and are never seen again.

  2. It’s race. Race, race, race. Nothing else. Just… race.

  3. I think open borders will help this. Right?

    /Dalmiaworld

    1. Not so much, gotta combat global warming, that’s the ticket. Wait for our narcissist in chief to say as much.

  4. The special rights of police ‘contribute’ to the problem? Contribute? It is the fucking problem!

    1. If they were held accountable for their actions, then they might think twice before murdering someone who fails to obey an unlawful order. The excuse is that a cop might be killed if they hesitate, but that’s a load of shit. It just means they’d have to genuinely fear for their lives before using deadly force, like you or me, instead of doing so because they were shown insufficient respect and then lying about it.

      Thing is, who will change it? The people with that power are in the protected class, so they’ve got nothing to worry about. There’s no incentive.

      1. Cops are *supposed* to get killed so that members of the public don’t. Sometimes those members of the public are the suspects they are trying to apprehend.

        Thatr is the fundamental disconnect – that somehow a cop has more right to shoot people in self defense. In fact, they have LESS, because it’s explicitly their JOB to risk their lives.
        They are given weapons because they have to apprehend possibly dangerous people, but those weapons aren’t a license to kill those people. Criminal suspects have rights and the police have an obligation to respect those rights. They can’t just say that because the suspect is a threat they have a right ot kill him. OF COURSE the suspect is a threat, that’s why society is paying you to arrest him and bring him in for a fair trial.

      2. Or perhaps they’d put a bit more thought into each encounter with the public, such as arresting known bad guys as they come home or leave home, instead of SWAT raids at 3am for overdue library books, and maybe being polite instead of cussing like a boot camp reject as standard practice.

    2. The special rights of police ‘contribute’ to the problem? Contribute? It is the fucking problem!

      The public is the problem. The public wants the Drug War to continue, necessitating violent cops.

      Cops get away with this b.s. because the public tolerates and encourages it. It’s a stupid spiral.

        1. Fuck this website.

  5. Never mind the Alt-Text….

    1. I’m curious how many blocks the dude on the bike makes it before a cop stops him, tickets him for riding without a helmet and then proceeds to pat him down…in the name of officer safety.

      If its New York, Philly, Balmer, DC, Chicago or Boston, the answer will be less than 3. If its Dallas, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte or Richmond, the answer will be infinity.

      1. Hey! What’s Tampa, chopped liver?

  6. A Baltimore Sun investigation found that between 2011 and 2014, the Baltimore Police Department paid about $5.7 million in settlement or court-awarded verdicts to victims of police brutality (and spent an equal amount in legal fees),

    Three years and $5.7M? Fucking pikers. In Chicago they call that “August”.

    But the cities do have a few things in common:
    1. Universal Democrat control for several decades.
    2. Strong police unions that influence elections.
    3. Prohibitionist do-gooders.

    You don’t see this shit happening in southern cities, yet the fuckholes on the left keep saying it is the fault of racist whites…which they say exist predominately in the south.

    1. Stupid facts fail the narrative again.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..hated.html

      1. Jesus Christ. People from Corpus Christi and Waco sure hate them wetbacks.

      2. Wow, that’s some stupid methodology:

        “Disturbing findings: Researchers discovered 41,306 tweets containing the word ‘n*****,’ which were not concentrated in any single region of the US”

        So they just counted tweets with the word ‘nigger’ regardless of context. How many of these do you want to bet were black people using the word in a way that’s in no sense racist? A black guy typing a line from a rap song apparently was counted as hate speech by this metric.

        1. Oops – this is why we read the whole article before commenting:

          “Human touch: Since an algorithm would automatically classify a tweet as negative if it contains a ‘hate word,’ the organizers of the project had the students to read the entirety of the message before deciding if is hateful”

          So is the first map just all uses of the n-word and the second map is uses that were found to be actually racist?

          1. If you look closely in the bottom left corner of each map,
            the first is for the “homophobic words”,
            map 2 is for “niggers”,
            map 3 looks like it is for “queers”,
            map four appears to be for “Chinks”
            and map 5 is for the “wetbacks”

            So they’re not even labelled correctly in the story.

            1. Well there’s the source of my confusion – stupidly assuming the Daily Mail knew what the fuck they were talking about.

        2. Wow, Irish. You need to check your privilege, assuming every rap song has the word “nigger” in it when in reality only 92% of rap songs do.

      3. The one where “Chinks” looks to be the hate word has a heavy concentration around Georgetown University.

        1. Must be the sprinklers.

          *spick spick spick spick spick spick CHINK nigga nigga nigga…*

        2. This is hilarious because there are apparently virtually no people using the word ‘chink’ on twitter. They mark part of Virginia as a ‘hotspot’ for use of the word ‘chink’ but if you scroll over the hotspot it shows you that they found a whole 10 people who used that term.

          My God! Ten instances of people sending out racist tweets! How have the people of Virginia not engaged in anti-Asian ethnic cleansing yet with that much hate!

          1. I’d be willing to bet its just that “Chink” is no longer as fashionable to racists as gook or slope. Anti-Asian sentiment is still a crisis that demands our attention!

            /(non-Asian) progtard

              1. How soon before the BBC folds and asks him to come back?

                1. How soon before the BBC folds and asks him to come back?

                  Never. He caused way too many problems with his mouth, but that’s not all. The show celebrates machines that are killing the planet, while poking fun at gas-sippers and electrics. It is heretical to the new religion. It had to go.

                  1. Yeah, you’re wrong here. The limeys love their cars and that show is still as popular as ever. The BBC is already laying the groundwork to take him back but they haven’t sat down to negotiate his contract. Plus, the summer season will still air with him. My guess is that they don’t miss a single season and he’s back on the air pretty quickly.

                    1. I know the audience likes the show. But I wasn’t talking about them. I mean the PC busybodies that run the network. I hope I’m wrong. I do like the show. A lot.

        3. Reminds me of when I was working at a movie thee-ayter in suburban San Diego (home to the stupidest, most intellectually lazy people I have ever encountered in the U.S.), and someone asked me if my university (American U) was “mostly black, like Georgetown”.

    2. Three years and $5.7M? Fucking pikers. In Chicago they call that “August”.

      I think you meant “any one day in August”, right?

    3. “You don’t see this shit happening in southern cities”

      Huh? Did you miss the Scott case?

    4. Baltimore IS a southern city

  7. “a figure that would certainly be much, much higher if municipal damages in most instances weren’t capped at a measly $200,000. ”

    Just curious. Anyone know what level of government legislates a cap at $200,000? Isn’t there some way for a victim to make a state or federal civil rights suit and not be capped? (pun)

    1. State governments can do this – if you go into Fed court, it would not apply.

  8. Hey Shikha-Dalmia, you forgot to capitalize G-d.

  9. Darn it. As if Reason didn’t provide enough nut-punches. I was trying to type “Trulia” into my browser and inadventantly ended up here, a new-to-me site.

    “Cop Who Shot at Dog and Missed, Killing Mother Instead Will Not Be Charged”

    http://truthvoice.com/

    1. Well, thanks for another nut punch

  10. Popehat is on this as well.

  11. Breaking News: Criminal charges for six officers

    1. And why am I tell you this, Reason? You should be telling me.

  12. Holy fuck. The prosecutor is dropping the hammer on these killer pigs. ABout fucking time.

    1. Charged doesn’t mean convicted. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    2. We’ll see how she handles the case. It wouldn’t be the first time a state’s attorney purposefully bungles a case against law enforcement, if she does.

      1. Whoever could be be thinking of?

        http://www.chicagotribune.com/…..story.html

        /Anita Alvarez

      2. Whoever could be be thinking of?

        http://www.chicagotribune.com/…..story.html

        /Anita Alvarez

        1. Apparently the squirrelz dislike her too.

      3. I’m still smarting over the hat tip I never got for sending that story in.

        1. Dude. How long you been posting at Reason? Hat tips are like Virginia Postrel – a relic of a time Reason was better….

    3. Don’t know the law in MD, but the prosecutor may have to get the charges EXACTLY correct or the judge may let the defendants free because of it.

  13. David Simon’s all good with it… ’cause gay marriage.

  14. “genuine lumpen”? I’m luvin’ the Marxist lingo, Shikha. Or should I say “comrade”?

    1. You spelled your first name wrong again.

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