Surveillance video taken at the corner of North and Pennsylvania avenues shows the progression of the riots and looting.
The following video was obtained by the Baltimore Sun:
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is going from prosecutor to civil defendant in connection with the case of the death of Freddie Gray.
On Wednesday, Mosby announced that charges against three officers still facing trial were being dropped. Mosby gave only a statement, but had to leave without taking questions because five of the officers in the case have filed lawsuits against her.
Officers Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and William Porter as well as Sgt. Alicia White and Lt. Brian Rice are suing Mosby and Maj. Samuel Cogen of the Baltimore Sheriff’s Office. Cogen was the law enforcement officer who filed charging documents against the officers.
The lawsuits allege false arrest, false imprisonment, defamation or false light, and other assertions. They were filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland in 2015 in late April and early May around the time the officers were arrested.
Gray died in a hospital on April 19, 2015, a week after police stopped him on a Baltimore street. After his arrest, officers placed Gray in the back of a police van, which made several stops.
Rice and Nero had already been acquitted in separate bench trials. So had Officer Caesar Goodson, who apparently has not filed suit. Porter was the first to be tried but his case ended with the jury unable to reach a unanimous decision.
An attorney for two of the officers said Wednesday that there were ulterior motives in charging the officers.
“Marilyn Mosby’s comments in her press conference today confirm that the charges brought against my clients, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter, as well as the other four officers, were politically motivated and not supported by evidence to establish probable cause,” Michael E. Glass said.
He said his client suffered “extensive pain and suffering.” Porter and White had been suspended without pay until Wednesday. They are now on desk duty after more than a year on leave.
Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in the case, paints himself as minimally involved, according to court documents. Read the rest of this entry »
Legal analysts ripped Baltimore prosecutors Monday over their handling of the Freddie Gray case, saying the prosecution should drop all charges against the three remaining police officers or risk more embarrassment in the courtroom.
What’s more, John Banzhaf, an activist law professor at George Washington University, said he would file a complaint Tuesday with the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission calling for the disbarment of the lead prosecutors in the trials of the six police officers accused of wrongdoing in the 2015 arrest and death of the 25-year-old black man.
The pointed criticism came Monday after Lt. Brian Rice was acquitted of all charges for his role in Gray’s arrest and death. The lieutenant was the highest-ranking of the accused officers, and his full acquittal was the third consecutive loss for prosecutors. Another trial ended in a hung jury in December, and a retrial has been scheduled.
But legal analysts said any subsequent trials should be canceled. They noted prosecutors’ failure to convict the most senior officer involved in Gray’s arrest (Lt. Rice) and the driver of the police van in which Gray’s neck was broken (Officer Caesar Goodson).
“It’s quite clear that the prosecution should not continue on,” said Barry Slotnick, a prominent defense lawyer who has followed the trials in the Gray case. “The prosecution in the next three cases should strongly make a suggestion in court — on the record — that these cases have not been proven and will not be proven and therefore they should be dismissed.”
Still, Mr. Slotnick said it’s unlikely that Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby will drop the remaining trials. He attributed her filing of charges against the six officers to an intent to appease the community.
“It’s rather sad,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that I think this prosecution was commenced by people who were concerned about community reaction. People should not be accused of a crime to have a community satisfied. It’s absolutely inappropriate.” Read the rest of this entry »
A man who threatened to set off a bomb in the offices of Fox 45 Baltimore Thursday afternoon, forcing authorities to evacuate the building, walked outside before shots were fired by police and he fell to the ground.
The man’s current condition is unclear, and police did not identify him. They told Fox 45 he apparently was hit by bean bag rounds. Reporters said he held an unidentified object in his left hand.
— News Director Mike Tomko
The man wore a white panda suit, a surgical mask and sunglasses. He apparently lit a car on fire in the parking lot before entering the building.
“He had a flash drive, said he had information he wanted to get on the air. He compared it to the information found in the Panama Papers. I told him, ‘I can’t let you in, you’re going to have to leave the flash drive here and slide it through the opening.’ He wouldn’t do that. Apparently he had made some threats before,” News Director Mike Tomko said…(read more)
Source: Fox News
Heather Mac Donald writes: Murders and shootings have spiked in many American cities—and so have efforts to ignore or deny the crime increase. The see-no-evil campaign eagerly embraced a report last month by the Brennan Center for Justice called “Crime in 2015: A Preliminary Analysis.” Many progressives and their media allies hailed the report as a refutation of what I and others have dubbed the “Ferguson effect”— cops backing off from proactive policing, demoralized by the ugly vitriol directed at them since a police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., last year. Americans are being asked to disbelieve both the Ferguson effect and its result: violent crime flourishing in the ensuing vacuum.
In fact, the Brennan Center’s report confirms the Ferguson effect, while also showing how clueless the media are about crime and policing.
The Brennan researchers gathered homicide data from 25 of the nation’s 30 largest cities for the period Jan. 1, 2015, to Oct. 1, 2015. (Not included were San Francisco, Indianapolis, Columbus, El Paso and Nashville.) The researchers then tried to estimate what 2015’s full-year homicide numbers for those 25 cities would be, based on the extent to which homicides were up from January to October this year compared with the similar period in 2014.
The resulting projected increase for homicides in 2015 in those 25 cities is 11%. (By point of comparison, the FiveThirtyEight data blog looked at the 60 largest cities and found a 16% increase in homicides by September 2015.) An 11% one-year increase in any crime category is massive; an equivalent decrease in homicides would be greeted with high-fives by politicians and police chiefs. Yet the media have tried to repackage that 11% homicide increase as trivial.
Several strategies are employed to play down the jump in homicides. The simplest is to hide the actual figure. An Atlantic magazine article in November, “Debunking the Ferguson Effect,” reports: “Based on their data, the Brennan Center projects that homicides will rise slightly overall from 2014 to 2015.” A reader could be forgiven for thinking that “slightly” means an increase of, say, 2%.
Nothing in the Atlantic write-up disabuses the reader of that mistaken impression. The website Vox, declaring the crime increase “bunk,” is similarly discreet about the actual homicide rate, leaving it to the reader’s imagination. Crime & Justice News, published by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, coyly admits that “murder is up moderately in some places” without disclosing what that “moderate” increase may be. Read the rest of this entry »
A female freshman arrives for her mandatory one-on-one session in her male RA’s dorm room. It is 8:00 p.m. Classes have been in session for about a week. The resident assistant hands her a questionnaire. He tells her it is “a little questionnaire to help [you] and all the other residents relate to the curriculum.” He adds that they will “go through every question together and discuss them.” He later reports that she “looked a little uncomfortable.” “When did you discover your sexual identity?” the questionnaire asks. “That is none of your damn business,” she writes. “When was a time …(read more)
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Another grim milestone for the city. What appears to be a fatal shooting in Northeast Baltimore is the city’s 200th homicide of 2015.
It happened in the 2700 block of The Alameda near Kennedy Avenue.
Lee Stranahan writes: A sharp spike in the murder rates of Democrat-controlled cities across America is one of the consequences of the increased tension between police and black Americans; tension that has been stirred up by both the liberal media and by Democrat-aligned radical political activist group Black Lives Matter.
As Baltimore announced it is embedding federal agents with its homicide unit after one of the highest murder rates in years, the Washington Post took note of the sharp increases in other cities like New Orleans and Atlanta:
Some blame the increase in violence on the “Ferguson Effect” — officers pulling back on tough enforcement because of the intense focus on police-involved shootings like the one that killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last August.
In neighborhoods where police have long been viewed with suspicion, people use their cellphones like all-seeing periscopes every time police officers get out of their cars. Officers and the unions that represent them describe a combination of surveillance and skepticism, with body cameras, ACLU recording apps and jeering wherever they go.
This increased pressured on law enforcement is a direct result of radical anti-police activist groups like Black Lives Matter using social media and community organizing to urge inner-city black Americans toward confrontations with the police as they are trying to do their work keeping the public safe.
As with the recent confrontation between Black Lives Matter activists and Cleveland police showed, the press usually sides with the acitivists and against the police. The unrelenting anti-law enforcement atmosphere is taking its toll, as CNN reported in May:
The latest homicide statistics arrive amid reports that Baltimore police officers have lost confidence in the chain of command and that officers have coordinated a work slowdown by not talking to community members and showing less initiative. The drops in arrests and increase in murders are the result of officers refusing to follow their marching orders, according to one Baltimore officer who spoke with CNN. Read the rest of this entry »
Kevin Rector reports: Nearly a week after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a curfew in Baltimore following rioting and looting — and just one day before she lifted it — top mayoral aides were concerned about her safety amid a growing community tension.
In a May 2 email to other aides and top deputies, Gus Augustus, director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods, said he had been at Mondawmin Mall that morning and did not recommend the mayor go there because “it was very sketchy and tense.”
“Folks want the curfew lifted,” Augustus wrote.
He recommended the city send “community folks up there to assist” instead.
He also said that while there were “many options” for where the mayor could meet with community members the following day, her team would “need scouts on the ground.” Read the rest of this entry »
BALTIMORE — Gina Cook reports: When riots erupted in Baltimore in April, 150 cops were hurt as the city descended into chaos. Newly released video and radio transmissions are providing an additional viewpoint into just how confusing and tense it was for Baltimore Police.
Some of the audio makes it clear the leaders of the police department realized their officers were ill equipped for the escalating situation, Domen reports.
Surveillance video taken at the corner of North and Pennsylvania avenues shows the progression of the riots and looting.
The following video was obtained by the Baltimore Sun:
WNEW’s John Domen reports police radio transmissions also provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the panic officers experienced during those hours. Read the rest of this entry »
Rawlings-Blake announced the firing in a news release Wednesday afternoon. She said Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will become interim commissioner.
Rawlings did not give a reason, but the move comes amid a spike in the city’s homicide rate.
Baltimore was rocked with civil unrest in April after black resident Freddie Gray died one week after suffering a critical spinal injury in police custody. Six police officers have been criminally charged in Gray’s death.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake abruptly dismissed Police Commissioner Anthony Batts on Wednesday, hours after the city’s police union released a report sharply critical of the department’s response to rioting here in late April.
Ms. Rawlings-Blake announced the decision minutes before Mr. Batts was due to hold a news conference. She named Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis as interim commissioner effective immediately. She was scheduled to address reporters later Wednesday afternoon.
The move came hours after the city’s police union said officers lacked appropriate riot gear and weren’t allowed to stop widespread looting during the unrest.
“Decisions implemented by top commanders of the Baltimore Police Department left officers in harm’s way,” union President Lt. Gene Ryan said at an earlier news conference. “Equally as important, the lack of preparation put the very citizens that we were sworn to protect in harm’s way as well.”
Police-department officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. A spokesman for Ms. Rawlings-Blake dismissed the report as “no more than a trumped up political document full of baseless accusations, finger pointing and personal attacks.” Read the rest of this entry »
Nearly three quarters of Americans believe the news media reports with an intentional bias, according to a new survey.
— Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center, in an op-ed for USA Today
The 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey, conducted by the First Amendment Center and USA Today, was released Friday…
Other findings in the survey:
• Only 19 percent of Americans say the First Amendment goes “too far” in the rights that it guarantees. Last year, 38 percent said it went too far, meaning support for the First Amendment has grown.
• 38 percent agree that business owners should be required to provide services to same-sex couples, a 14-point drop from 2013, when the question was first asked. Read the rest of this entry »
Daffy — The Commando is a 1943 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. Daffy Duck is a commando, dropped behind enemy lines, and causes havoc to the German commander, Von Vulture, who tries to capture him. As with many of the World War II-themed cartoons put out by the major studios, Daffy – The Commando was withheld from broadcast or video distribution after the war. Read the rest of this entry »
Allapundit writes: There were 23 homicides and 39 nonfatal shootings in Baltimore in May 2014. Through 29 days of May 2015, there were 42 homicides and 104 nonfatal shootings. Gulp.
Why are arrests down so sharply? Some cops may fear that criminals have turned more aggressive and confrontational after a year of high-profile allegations of police brutality, from the protests in Ferguson to the assassination of two officers in New York to the riots over Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Jack Dunphy, a cop himself, noted in a piece for PJM last month that crime rates are up in multiple major cities nationwide. Can’t be a coincidence. For other officers, it’s not fear of perps that drives them but of the DA: Watch towards the end of the clip below and you’ll hear Brooke Baldwin say some cops told her they’re more afraid of being charged by Marilyn Mosby if an arrest goes bad than they are of being killed in the line of duty. Even Baltimore’s police commissioner acknowledges that concern:
Batts has several explanations for what’s happening. One is a flood of prescription drugs on the street, being used for recreational purposes, that were looted from pharmacies during the April rioting. “There’s enough narcotics on the streets of Baltimore to keep it intoxicated for a year,” Batts said Wednesday. “That amount of drugs has thrown off the balance on the streets of Baltimore.” (This is, City Paper notes, a bit exaggerated.) Batts also said that officers have been patrolling in pairs rather than the normal solo beats, which effectively halves the number of patrols…(read more)
WASHINGTON — The wife of Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson is facing an assault charge in what authorities describe as a domestic incident.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office says Johnson’s wife, Rebecca, has been charged with second-degree assault for an incident on June 1.
According to the arrest report released to WNEW, officers responded to their home in the 1300 block of Marquis Court in Fallston just before 2 p.m. Upon arrival, officers met with Lindsay Johnson, the couple’s 25-year-old foster daughter, according to the Baltimore County Police Department.
The Johnsons have reportedly cared for their foster daughter since she was about 3-years-old. The department says they became her foster parents through Baltimore City Social Services.
The county police department released a statement to WNEW Wednesday night confirming Johnson’s wife was involved in a domestic incident. “Chief Johnson is deeply concerned about two people he cares about,” the statement says. Read the rest of this entry »
— Bill (@DefendWallSt) June 9, 2015
It seems hard to believe, but months ago, Baltimore’s politicians were confidently predicting a economic revival for the city. But after six Baltimore police officers where involved in the death of 25-year-old African-American Freddie Gray, the city erupted into the worst rioting it’s seen in 50 years.
The crisis has put police brutality in the spotlight, left leaders grasping for answers, and sparked an examination of the roots of the violence.
Franklin, a 34-year veteran of Maryland law enforcement and a former drug warrior, sat down with Reason TV‘s Todd Krainin to explain how the drug war policies of the O’Malley administration helped fuel the riots in Baltimore. Read the rest of this entry »
BALTIMORE (AP) — A 31-year-old woman and a young boy were shot in the head Thursday, becoming Baltimore’s 37th and 38th homicide victims so far this month, the city’s deadliest in 15 years.
The most recent killings claimed the lives of Jennifer Jeffrey and her seven-year-old son, Kester Anthony Browne. They were identified by Jeffrey’s sister, Danielle Wilder.
— Antoinette Perrine, whose brother was shot down three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore
Jeffrey and her son were found dead early Thursday, each from gunshot wounds to the head.
As family members cried and held each other on the quiet, leafy block in Southwest Baltimore where they lived, Wilder said she felt as if “my heart has been ripped out.”
— Donnail “Dreads” Lee, 34, who lives in the Gilmor Homes, the public housing complex where Gray, 25, was chased down
Wilder said a neighbor called their other sister early Thursday, concerned that she hadn’t hear any noise coming from Jeffrey’s house: no footsteps, Wilder said, no voices, and no gunshots. But when her brother let himself into the house to check on the mother and son, he discovered their bodies.
“She was in the living room,” Wilder said. “The baby was upstairs, in the bed.”
Wilder said police told her there were no signs of forced entry, and that whoever killed Jeffrey and Browne were let into the house sometime yesterday. Wilder said she thinks whoever killed Jeffrey, who also lived with her niece and grand-niece, wanted to catch her alone, and that the boy was collateral damage.
Thursday’s deaths continue a grisly and dramatic uptick in murders across Baltimore that has so far claimed the lives of 38 people. Meanwhile, arrests have plunged: Police are booking fewer than half the number of people they pulled off the streets last year.
Arrests were already declining before Freddie Gray died on April 19 of injuries he suffered in police custody, but they dropped sharply thereafter, as his death unleashed protests, riots, the criminal indictment of six officers and a full-on civil rights investigation by the U.S. Justice Department that has officers working under close scrutiny.
“I’m afraid to go outside,” said Antoinette Perrine, whose brother was shot down three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore. Ever since, she has barricaded her door and added metal slabs inside her windows to deflect gunfire. Read the rest of this entry »
The announcement by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the city’s chief prosecutor, surprised many in a city where officials had cautioned for days that the investigation might not come to a quick resolution. Spontaneous celebrations broke out in some neighborhoods that were roiled by looting and violence after Mr. Gray’s funeral on Monday, while police union officials said they were disappointed in what they called a rush to judgment.
— Richard Shipley, Mr. Gray’s stepfather
The most serious charges were brought against Officer Caesar Goodson, who was driving a police transport van that brought Mr. Gray to a police station after his April 12 arrest. Mr. Goodson, 45 years old, was charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and other charges.
— Mr. Davey, president of the Baltimore police union
Officers William Porter, 25, Lt. Brian Rice, 41, and Sgt. Alicia White, 30, were each charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Officers Edward Nero, 29, and Garrett Miller,26, were charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Lt. Rice and Messrs. Nero and Miller were also charged with false imprisonment for making what Ms. Mosby termed an illegal arrest of Mr. Gray.
The officers surrendered to police and bail was set in amounts ranging from $250,000 to $350,000, according to court records and state officials. By Friday night, all six officers had posted bail and been released, according to public records. Like Mr. Gray, three of the officers, including Mr. Goodson, are African-American.
Mike Davey, a Baltimore attorney who represents Lt. Rice and said he was speaking for all six officers, said he thought the publicity surrounding the case had motivated the filing of charges, and that the officers would ultimately be cleared. Read the rest of this entry »
Carl R. Trueman writes: I spent the first half of last week at a seminar at an Ivy League divinity school, where a friend and I gave a presentation on ministry and media. I had resolved before speaking that I would refer early on in my presentation to the fact that I belong to a denomination which does not ordain women. My discussion of ministry would be incomplete if I didn’t mention this subject, though I knew my comment would draw fire at a seminar with ordained women present.
Sure enough, one of the women ministers present challenged me with some vigor on my position. For a few minutes we exchanged trenchant but civil remarks on the subject.We each spoke our minds, neither persuaded the other, and then we moved on to the larger matter in hand: The use of modern media in the church. The matter of my opposition to women’s ordination never came up again in the remaining two days of the seminar.
Later that evening, a young research student commented to me that it was amazing to see such a trenchant but respectful disagreement on an issue that typically arouses visceral passions. He added that he and those of his generation had “no idea” (his phrase, if I recall) how such things should be done. Later in the week, my youngest son confirmed that he too had never seen civil disagreement on a matter of importance in the university classroom. This is an ominous, if fascinating, indictment, for I had simply done what I had seen modeled when I was an undergraduate: Vigorous disagreement in the classroom followed by friendly conversation in the pub. Read the rest of this entry »
Damage from rioting in Baltimore over the death of a black man from injuries in police custody is estimated at $9 million, a U.S. government survey showed on Wednesday.
The survey by the Small Business Administration found that more than 30 businesses and one home sustained major damage between April 25 and May 3 in unrest sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, 25.
The survey also found 254 businesses and one home experienced minor damage.
Damages to businesses totaled $8,927,000, and to homes $60,000, a Small Business Administration spokeswoman said.
Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, in a letter on Tuesday also signed by fellow Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin and U.S. Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, called on the Small Business Administration to help with the creation of disaster centers.
They also urged the agency to come up with a plan to inform business owners who are eligible for benefits about how to apply for disaster loan assistance.
A spokesman for the Baltimore Fire Department said the city recorded 61 structural fires over April 27 and 28, during the height of the arson and looting. The mayor’s office previously said that 15 buildings were burned.
The spokesman had no update for the number of burned vehicles. The mayor’s office has said 144 vehicles were set ablaze. Read the rest of this entry »
INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.
“As soon as that first burst of gunfire and screaming rang out, I’m sure Sally couldn’t get to the phone fast enough,” neighbor Glenn Maurer said after learning that the homemaker and mother of three had called 911 Read the rest of this entry »
Margaret Rhodes writes: As far as song-and-dance TV shows go, American Bandstand and Soul Train could hardly have been more different. Bandstand, which originally aired in 1952, showcased poodle skirt–wearing teenagers singing along to Top 40 radio hits, while Soul Train, which debuted two decades later, had a funkier repertoire of R&B, jazz, soul, and gospel acts.
— Curator Maurice Berger
But the shows did have one surprising thing in common: set designs heavily influenced by modern art. The abstracted platforms, stepped risers, and colored spotlights were lifted straight from the world of minimalist art, according to Abbott Miller, a Pentagram partner and one of the designers of a new exhibition up in New York titled Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television.
The advent of premium cable channels may have ushered in a golden age of TV, but the experimentalism of TV’s early days shouldn’t be underestimated. Today we praise shows that meticulously and authentically re-create a look or moment, like the 1960s-era New York we watch on Mad Men, or the meth labs and Albuquerque homes of Breaking Bad.
But when TV was just getting started, executives and creatives saw it differently, as a place where the art world and mass media could intersect. “The pioneers of early television understood the medium’s innate power, and they mined the aesthetic, stylistic, and conceptual possibilities of a new and powerful technology,” writes curator Maurice Berger. Television executives of the time, Berger says, were fascinated by avant-garde artists and saw television as not just a way to entertain the masses but as a vehicle for ideas about modern art.
If you ever thought TV pre-HBO was the fast food of entertainment, Revolution of the Eye, now open at the Jewish Museum in New York City, has more than 250 artifacts to prove otherwise. The exhibit is all about the early days of network programming—from the 1940s to the 1970s—and spotlights the ways networks were influenced by the aesthetics of high art and clever design in a way they haven’t been since….(read more)
Take the titles from Laugh-In, for example: “It was trafficking in this Pop, almost psychedelic, language that is pretty concurrent with the psychedelic poster explosion on the West Coast, but they were using it to signify that this was a different kind of media,” Miller says. Read the rest of this entry »
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 8, 2015
When asked by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, “We need the firepower and the ability to protect ourselves from our government” — from our government, from the police — “if they knock on our doors and we need to fight back.”
“Do you agree with that point of view?” Senator Durbin asked NRA executive VP Wayne LaPierre.
LaPierre initially responded, “I think without any doubt, if you look at why our founding fathers put it there, they had lived under the tyranny of King George and they wanted to make sure that these free people in this new country would never be subjugated again and have to live under tyranny.”
Then the NRA VP continued with a statement that has since been proven to be true in both Ferguson, Mo., and now Baltimore, Md. Read the rest of this entry »
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