[VIDEO] Justice Department Calls For Baltimore Police Overhaul Plan

A U.S. Justice Department investigation into practices of the Baltimore Police Department found disparities in the rates African-Americans were stopped, searched and arrested. The WSJ’s Lee Hawkins explains.

People celebrate after State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Photo: David Goldman/Associated Press

People celebrate after State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Photo: David Goldman/Associated Press

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This July 30, 2015 picture shows a blighted home in west Baltimore. Murders are spiking again in Baltimore, three months after Freddie Gray’s death in police custody sparked riots. This year’s monthly bloodshed has twice reached levels unseen in a quarter-century. In May, Baltimore set a 25-year high of 42 recorded killings. After a brief dip in June, the homicide is soaring again. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

This July 30, 2015 picture shows a blighted home in west Baltimore. Murders are spiking again in Baltimore, three months after Freddie Gray’s death in police custody sparked riots. This year’s monthly bloodshed has twice reached levels unseen in a quarter-century. In May, Baltimore set a 25-year high of 42 recorded killings. After a brief dip in June, the homicide is soaring again. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)


[VIDEO] New Video, Radio Transmissions During Baltimore Riots Released

Demonstrators throw rocks at police in Baltimore after the funeral of Freddie Gray on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

“He got hit with a brick. We’re going to standby here. I can’t leave these officers here by themselves.”

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.

“Hold the line! Do not go forward and do not chase them!”

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:

(NO AUDIO) City surveillance video obtained by The Sun shows the intersection of Pennsylvania and North avenues over the span of several hours on April 27, 2015. That intersection, one of several locations in Baltimore that saw disturbances that night in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death, became the epicenter for violence and protests for several days. (Baltimore Sun)

“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.”

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 »


BREAKING: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Declines to Fire Self, Fires Police Commissioner Police Commissioner Anthony Batts Instead

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

Rawlings-Blake announced the firing in a news release Wednesday afternoon. She said Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will become interim commissioner.

Police union official Gene Ryan holds a news conference on May 1 in Baltimore after the announcement of charges against six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. Photo: Algerina Perna/TNS/Zuma Press

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.

Since the rioting stopped, the city has seen a sharp increase in violence, with 155 homicides this year, a 48 percent increase over the same period last year.  [AP/Breitbart.com]

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 »


NYC Stop-and-Frisk Plunges as Crime Climbs

police-detective

New York City Murders Are On The Rise

,   report: A dramatic drop in stop-and-frisk encounters has emboldened criminals and made cops more reluctant to take proactive police action, even as murders and shootings are on the rise in the city.

“Everyone is afraid to make stops. No one wants to get jammed up. They’re telling us the stops have to be quality stops. But if you make a stop, and you think it’s a good one, and the guy has nothing on him, is that a good stop?”

— Brooklyn police supervisor

The frightening message — echoed by police supervisors and union leaders — comes as stop-and-frisk encounters are on pace to plunge by 42% this year, with 20,000 fewer street stops.

“What you’re seeing now are the perps carrying their guns because they’re not afraid to carry them. We’ve created an atmosphere where we’ve handcuffed the police. We are sitting back, taking a less proactive approach.”

—  Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association

There were 11,652 stops across the city through June 3 — projecting to roughly 28,000 for the year, records obtained by the Daily News show. As the number of stops fell, the number of murders spiked 19.5% during the first five months of the year, the number of people shot is up 9.2% and the number of shooting incidents jumped 9%.

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“Based on this year’s drop…absent any other factor, you have to ask the question: Are the cops now reluctant to engage?”

“What you’re seeing now are the perps carrying their guns because they’re not afraid to carry them,” said Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. “We’ve created an atmosphere where we’ve handcuffed the police. We are sitting back, taking a less proactive approach.”

Joe Marino for New York Daily News

Joe Marino for New York Daily News

“Stop-and-frisk activists say criminals are no longer afraid to carry guns because cops are afraid to make stops.”

Mullins said the city’s criminal element has been operating without fear while cops have been somewhat neutered in the last two years — and he wasn’t the only one to raise the issue.

“Based on this year’s drop . . . absent any other factor, you have to ask the question: Are the cops now reluctant to engage?” wondered one high-ranking police source.

Seth Wenig/AP

Seth Wenig/AP

Critics of the NYPD told The News there was no correlation between the two sets of numbers — while stop-and-frisk supporters said the lower frisk numbers led to the higher crime figures.

City cops, citing increased scrutiny from the NYPD’s inspector general, the state attorney general and City Hall, say the cutback on stops is about self-preservation. Read the rest of this entry »


#Baltimore: Nearly 100 Officers Injured

Protests in Baltimore After Funeral Held For Baltimore Man Who Died While In Police Custody

2:45 p.m. During a press conference Thursday, Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalcyzk said 98 officers reported injuries this week, including 43 who required hospitalization.

Nine adults and two juveniles were arrested between midnight and 3 a.m. for curfew violations, according to police.

soros

Of the 201 people initially arrested, 106 have been released without criminal charges. The remaining 95 have been criminally charged, Capt. Kowalcyzk said.

Capt. Kowalcyzk says they continue to investigate video footage of those who have been released from custody in hopes of filing criminal charges in the future…(read more)

CBS DC


[VIDEO] More Than 50 Reported Threats Against NYPD Since Killing of 2 Officers

“We’ve closed out more than half of them, with nine arrests being made, and we’ll continue to investigate the others.”

New York City is “investigating reports of over 50 incidents of reported threats against [city police] officers since the death of . .  two officers this past weekend,” city police commissioner Bill Bratton said….(read more)

 National Review Online