The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) is supposed to maintain law and order in Baltimore, Maryland, a US city not far from Washington, DC. They are supposed to serve and protect and yet the president of the city council says they are more feared than drug dealers.
From 2010 to 2014, according to the ACLU, the BPD killed 31 people. In the state of Maryland as a whole:
- Of those killed, 41% were unarmed.
- An unarmed Black person was ten times more likely to be killed by police than an unarmed White person.
- An unarmed Black person was more likely to be killed than even an armed White person!
- Only 2% of killer cops were charged with a crime.
From 2012 to July 2014, the city received 3,048 complaints of police misconduct. Even the police themselves admit that 1,203 or 39% of these complaints are true – about two a day.
But even of the 1,203 cases the police admit to, most will probably never go to court – because citizens fear the police, because the civilian review board is toothless.
From 2011 to 2014, the city settled 102 cases for $5.7 million. That does not count the $5.8 million it spent defending itself in court. The cost – and punishment – is passed on to taxpayers.
The president of the police union blamed such cases on lawyers and “criminal elements” taking advantage of the courts.
Among the “criminals” were:
- a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike,
- a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating,
- a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets,
- a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and
- an 87-year-old grandmother helping her wounded grandson.
The police do not respect age, sex or the law.
The 87-year-old grandmother was Venus Green. She tried to stop a police officer from searching her house without a warrant. He shoved her against the wall and she hit the wooden floor. He stood over her and said:
“Bitch, you ain’t no better than any of the other old black bitches I have locked up.”
He arrested her, breaking her shoulder while putting her in handcuffs.
She settled with the city for $95,000 – on condition that she does not talk to the press about it. The city and police say they did nothing wrong – and yet will not talk to the press either. What we know comes from court records.
Yet, even when the city has to pay, the officer is often “exonerated” by the findings of the internal affairs department. That would be the same internal affairs department that did nothing when two officers beat up Abdul Salaam after a traffic stop. Three weeks later those same two officers beat up Tyrone West after a traffic stop – and killed him.
The police break bones, cause organ failure and even death. Their two favourite excuses:
- “I feared for my life.”
- “He was resisting arrest.”
As required by Maryland state law, there is little citizen oversight.
Much of Black Baltimore is a police state where the US Constitution no longer seems to apply.
– Abagond, 2015.
- Michael Wood – retired Baltimore police officer
- Baltimore power structure
- Freddie Gray
- The extremely incomplete list of unarmed Blacks killed by police
- the police
- slave patrols
- The Wire – the BPD as imagined by White liberal screenwriters.