Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts today released a report outlining their sweeping plans to reduce police brutality, the Baltimore Sun report. Batts wants to increase staff in the internal affairs division, which handles allegations of misconduct, and study the issue of equipping officers with body-cameras. He also wants to negotiate with the police union to get wider authority to quickly punish rogue cops.
The report, called “Preventing Harm,” says Batts and other police leaders have been “reforming the internal discipline process so that bad actors are punished and bad cops are fired. … The best way to prevent abuse is to train on its use, circumscribe it with rules, and enforce the rules. When bad actors have impunity, the good cops become demoralized and the bad ones are emboldened.” The report cites a Sun investigation showing that residents have suffered battered faces and broken bones during arrests. The city has paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 civil suits since 2011 and nearly all of the people in the arrests leading to those suits had their criminal charges dismissed.