Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld isn’t endorsing anyone in the city state’s attorney’s race. The Baltimore Sun reports that citizen Fred Bealefeld has a clear preference. Lawn signs for defense attorney Gregg Bernstein, who is challenging Patricia Jessamy in the Democratic primary, sprouted up on the lawn of Bealefeld’s home this week.
“The State’s Attorney’s job is to prosecute the bad guys and make sure they go to jail. We are working hard to do our job and we need a true partner in the state’s attorney’s office,” he said. That Bealefeld favors an alternative to 15-year incumbent Jessamy hardly comes as a surprise. Relations between their agencies have been lukewarm at best for years, and Bealefeld has said police are too often blamed by prosecutors for failures in the courtroom. Bealefeld is taking what is believed to be an unprecedented step in making known his choice of Jessamy’s chief opponent in the Democratic primary, something generally frowned upon in law enforcement. The stakes could be high testing the political capital that Bealefeld has built up in three years as commissioner and risking further strains with the office should Jessamy prevail.