The Baltimore Police Department ousted its top leadership in its central police district, a move that comes amid violent attacks in the downtown area and one day after the Baltimore Sun reported that officers had failed to handle properly the robbery of a nanny. Maj. John Bailey, a 35-year veteran, and his second in command, Deputy Maj. Avon Mackell, a 21-year veteran, were stripped of their command positions after what sources described as a heated exchange with department leadership after a woman was choked and robbed of an iPod while she walked with a baby.
At the department’s weekly Comstat meeting, where commanders discuss crime trends, Deputy Commissioner Anthony Barksdale demanded to know why officers had failed initially to take a report from the 24-year-old woman and why supervisors had not caught the error, sources said. At one point, Barksdale stormed out of the meeting. The shake-up appears to be an effort by police leadership to take a tougher stance against underreporting of crimes, with commanders also being warned that a new internal affairs chief would root out officers who downgrade or fail to report incidents.