Friday, May 26, 2017

Copping Out: Baltimore's Bullies

"Police: Indicted Baltimore officers ‘1930s-style gangsters’" by Juliet Linderman Associated Press  March 03, 2017

BALTIMORE — Seven Baltimore officers were so unfazed by US Justice Department scrutiny of abusive policing that they kept falsely detaining people, stealing their money and property, and faking reports to cover it up, according to a damning federal indictment.

Federal prosecutors announced racketeering charges Wednesday against seven officers in Baltimore, where a consent decree approved in the final days of the Obama administration obligates police to stop abusive tactics and discriminatory practices, including unlawful stops of drivers and pedestrians.

‘‘These officers are 1930s-style gangsters,’’ Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. ‘‘They betrayed the trust we’re trying to build with our community at a very sensitive time in our history.’’

US Attorney Rod Rosenstein said the investigation began about a year ago, and that his office has ‘‘quietly dropped’’ five federal cases brought by one or more of the officers. In a statement, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said the charges will have ‘‘pervasive implications on numerous active investigations and pending cases.’’

The announcement comes just one day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated that intense federal scrutiny of police might hinder their crime-fighting ability. Sessions suggested that his Justice Department might ‘‘pull back’’ from civil rights investigations involving police departments.

I'm done with him.

Rosenstein has been nominated for deputy attorney general.

He is now under fire.

‘‘I know the attorney general is committed to prosecuting criminals, whether they’re in police organizations or anyplace else, so I’m confident we have his support,’’ Rosenstein said.

The indictment describes a criminal enterprise that began in 2015, when the city was rocked by civil unrest after the death of a young black man, Freddie Gray, in police custody that April. Weeks later, the Justice Department began a ‘‘pattern and practice’’ investigation of the city’s police force. Intense reform efforts followed, including the expanded use of cameras to record police interactions.

Ground Nero for a lot of people.

In August 2016, the Justice Department released a scathing report detailing systemic failures, including excessive use of force, illegal stops, and inadequate oversight and training.


"The filing of the agreement, in the waning days of US Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s tenure, is meant as a capstone for an administration that has made civil rights enforcement a priority. The Justice Department report last August found that officers were routinely stopping large numbers of people in poor, black neighborhoods for dubious reasons.... The agreement, finalized in the waning days of the Obama administration, is intended to remain in effect under a new attorney general. Civil rights advocates have expressed concern that Senator Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee, may not pursue allegations of police misconduct with the same vigor. The Justice Department opened similar investigations into about two dozen local law enforcement agencies under President Obama, including Ferguson, Mo., and Cleveland. In Chicago, where a white officer was videotaped fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times, a Justice Department report to be released Friday will conclude that officers have a pattern and practice of violating people’s rights, using excessive force, and displaying racial bias, said an official familiar with the findings.... "

That's crazy!

Also see$1M pledged to help Baltimore victims after scathing report

Will that be enough?

By then, federal agents had spent months following officers assigned to the Gun Trace Task Force, a squad formed to reduce violent crime by removing illegal guns from the streets.

Davis said many officers weren’t surprised when they learned who was indicted, because several have been the subject of numerous misconduct complaints and civil lawsuits alleging abuse.

Nor am I. That's the sad thing.


Before continuing I just want it on record that not all cops are corrupt and bad. It is a fact of life that communities need a police force of some kind. What I have found is the higher up and more centralized you get, the greater the desensitization to the public they are supposed "to protect and serve." Thus the locals are all decent human beings, not perfect, but better than a Statie, who is far more preferable to a Fed.


"Hundreds of cases may be tainted after officers’ indictment" AP  March 23, 2017

BALTIMORE — The top prosecutor in Baltimore says more than 50 active cases and more than 150 closed and adjudicated cases may be tainted after members of a firearms crime task force were indicted in a racketeering conspiracy.

It's like the drug lab scandal here, and you have to toss them all out in the name of justice.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced at a news conference Thursday that investigators are reviewing hundreds of cases linked to the seven indicted police officers since the beginning of 2015. The indictment alleges that the officers were falsely detaining people, stealing their money and property, and faking reports to cover it up.

Mosby says prosecutors have dropped charges in more than 30 active cases so far. She says the 150 closed and adjudicated cases being reviewed involve 45 incarcerated people, and are now a top priority.


Also seeNetflix Series Exposes Govt-Connected Child Sex Ring in Baltimore, Police Forced to Respond

Did you see the outfits they make them wear?

"The black sports bra and matching leggings that Under Armour began selling Monday don’t look particularly distinctive from the rest of the workout attire on its website. But, in fact, the garments are different in a key way: They were made in the United States, marking a key milestone in the company’s ambitious bid to significantly rethink its manufacturing strategy. They are the first batch of clothing to be made at UA Lighthouse, a sprawling Under Armour facility that opened this summer in Baltimore. A 35,000-square-foot design and product development hub, it is an anchor of Under Armour’s attempt to figure out how to make clothing in the United States — an unusual venture in an industry where manufacturing has largely been done overseas for a generation. About 97 percent of clothing sold in the United States is imported, according to the American Apparel & Footwear Association. Just 2,000 of the garments are available for sale — 1,000 each of the bras and leggings — so it’s a small-scale start."

Yeah, moving factories offshore and overseas is some sort of damn mystery! 


Isn't Baltimore in Maryland?