Baltimore's mayor promised an independent review of the “friendly fire” shooting that claimed the life of a plainclothes city police officer as commanders ordered those who dress in civilian clothes to wear uniforms or jackets identifying them as law enforcement, reports the city's Sun. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she is “very concerned by initial facts that indicate only police weapons were discharged” during the early Sunday melee outside the Select Lounge. The shooting left a police officer and an unarmed civilian dead and four people wounded.
The review of the shooting will not supplant the investigation now under way by Baltimore homicide detectives or any action that city prosecutors might take, a police spokesman said. But it will serve as a check on the criminal inquiry and offer an independent critique of the Police Department's policies and practices. Police supervisors said discussions on new rules governing plainclothes officers could include whether they should wear distinctive colors that change by the day or week, to make them quickly identifiable to fellow officers but not to the people they are trying to arrest, or use code words. Police in New York City use what is called the “color of the day” to mark plainclothes officers, typically consisting of bandanas or headbands.