In addition to finding pervasive bias against blacks, the Justice Department report portrayed a Baltimore police culture deeply dismissive of sexual assault victims and hostile toward prostitutes and transgender people. Baltimore is not a one-off on the issue: Gender bias has been identified in DOJ investigations in several other police departments, including in New Orleans.
Among the questions: How could a majority-black city with a long tradition of African-American leadership have such entrenched racism in its police department? “This is part of the baggage of our country’s history,” said one woman. Meanwhile, police union officials cited “failed leadership” in city government.
The probe was launched after the death in April 2015 of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, from spinal injuries suffered in police custody. The feds concluded that black residents were targeted by police even though they were more likely to find illegal guns, illicit drugs and other contraband on white residents.
Korryn Gaines was killed and her 5-year-old son wounded after an armed standoff. Chief says he weighed making the officer’s name public but after receiving “an unprecedented” number of threats, he concluded, “We must err on the side of safety.”
“Baltimore killings soar to level unseen in 43 years,” an Associated Press headline announced earlier this week. According to the story, there have been nearly 200 homicides in Baltimore so far this year, compared to 119 by the end of July 2014. Even before that AP story, the rise in Baltimore homicides had triggered a predictably strong response from local leaders. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts on July 8, declaring that “Too many continue to die […]
The streets of Baltimore were relatively calm Tuesday night as thousands of police officers and National Guard troops enforced a new 10 p.m. curfew, one day after riots rocked the city. The weeklong curfew was met with some resistance at first, reports The Baltimore Sun. The paper reports that a “small, defiant group of people” faced off with police in riot gear after the curfew went into effect, a few throwing rocks, bottles and smoke canisters toward police, who shot […]
Driving along the expressway leaving Baltimore recently, I observed an electronic billboard alerting drivers to the identity of one of the current “most wanted” fugitives in the area. As I was moving toward the billboard, the advertisement changed to notify us of the upcoming “Gun and Knife Show” at the state fair grounds north of the city. Juxtaposed against this irony is the breaking story of corruption endemic to the Baltimore City Detention Center. While the City Jail is formally […]
Before the other boys jumped Tyrone, they asked if he wanted to fight. That was a mere formality. Fights are a regular occurrence among juveniles being held in Baltimore’s adult jail — where the 16-year-old was held for six months on attempted-robbery charges — and he had no say in the matter. A corrections officer sat just feet away, but his indifference created a gulf of miles, Tyrone said. When it was over, Tyrone was missing a tooth. He ripped […]