The Baltimore Riots 2015
Rawlings-Blake on Batts: 'I support the commissioner'
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and city police commissioner Anthony Batts during an October news conference. Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)
By Yvonne Wenger The Baltimore Sun contact the reporter
Mayor Rawlings-Blake reaffirms support for Police Commissioner Batts, despite unrest, increase in homicides.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake reaffirmed her confidence in Baltimore’s police commissioner Wednesday – as she has steadfastly done even as city’s seen the one of its deadliest months in decades.
Rawlings-Blake declined to say whether she had considered firing Commissioner Anthony W. Batts, telling reporters at a news conference: “I support the commissioner.”
The violence has continued this month, as a 16-year-old girl was among those killed. So far this year, 128 people have been killed, up from 89 at the this time last year.
Forty-two of those homicides occurred in May. The last time the city had as many homicides was August 1990.
Rawlings-Blake also was asked whether she questions the training city officers receive. Batts and others, including the police union, have said there’s confusion in the ranks over the legal risks officers face when making arrests.
The questions stem from the April death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old died a week after sustaining a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. Six officers have been charged in his death.
“There are several reasons that they are concerned,” Rawlings-Blake said of the officers. “I wouldn’t suggest that their training is the reason for that.”
The mayor said a lot of officers are trying to “jive their training with the charges that were brought, and that work to bring that understanding is being done.” The commissioner is educating the force and clarifying questions about the policies and procedures governing when it is appropriate to make an arrest, she said.
“Those are the things the police commissioner is committed to working on,” Rawlings-Blake said, “so that we’re in one accord with the Police Department and the State’s Attorney’s Office.”
Rawlings-Blake said she will withhold any judgment about the officer’s training until she has more information.
“A lot of the things that are coming out of the case are different than the training,” she said. “I don’t necessarily say I should question the training, because the case hasn’t been adjudicated yet.”
Rawlings-Blake tapped Batts to take over the department in 2012, saying she wanted “a commissioner that was committed to reform.”
“The commission has put in place a significant amount of reform that has led to reductions in the number of discourtesy complaints against the Police Department, the number of excessive force complaints, the number of police-involved shootings, the number of cases brought against the Police Department for wrongful death – all are going down,” she said.
“That’s what happens when you bring a reformer into town," she said. "Clearly, there is much more work that needs to be done, and I support the commissioner in doing that work.”
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
FOP report details sampling of firsthand officer accounts from riots
FOP releases officer riot accounts: "I had never in my 14-year career been as afraid as I was at that moment"
The union representing police officers in Baltimore released findings from its independent "after action review" of the police response to rioting in the city following the death of Freddie Gray. The 32-page review stated that officers claimed "that they lacked basic riot equipment, training, and, as events unfolded, direction from leadership," and that "the passive response ... allowed the disorder to grow into full scale rioting."
The report also included a dozen accounts from officers from the time of the unrest.
- A command member, appointed by Commissioner Batts, reported being given orders from executive command members not to engage rioters, even while officers on the line were being assaulted with rocks and bottles.
Christopher T. Assaf / Baltimore Sun
FOP contends that officers were ordered not to engage rioters, even while officers on the line were being assaulted with rocks and bottles.
Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun
A protestor with a gas mask rides his bike in front of a police line at North and Pennsylvania Avenues. According to the FOP after action report officers were ordered not engage rioters and do anything that might provoke an incident.
Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun
Police block Pennsylvania Avenue just north of North Avenue in an attempt to contain the unrest.
Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun
In the after action report release by the FOP it states that at the CVS on North Avenue officers were told "do not stop looters and hold your position."
Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun
Baltimore city police form a line near Mondawmin mall in the afternoon of April 27th.
Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun
The FOP statement contends that officers were ordered to allow rioters to "flip and burn cars and to not take action against property crimes, only if death or personal injury occurs."
Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun
FOP contends that officers were order not to engage rioters, even while officers on the line were being assaulted with rocks and bottles.
Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun
The FOP after actin report states a command member reported being given orders from executive command members not to engage rioters even while officers on the line were being assualted with rocks and bottles.
Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun
Youths throw rocks at the line of police in on North Monroe Street near Bryant Ave. The FOP said an officer reported orders given for no helmets, even after being hit by rocks.
Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun
Police in riot gear fend off rocks being thrown at them during rioting near Mondawmin Mall.
Christopher T. Assaf / Baltimore Sun
A Baltimore police man approaches a man near Lexington Market before arresting him. FOP contends there were mixed signals from command on when it was appropriate to make arrests.
Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun
Police maintain a line on N. Monroe at Bryant.
Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun
An armored police vehicle travels down Gay Street past Fayette Street during an uprising following the death of resident Freddie Gray. The FOP report stated that an police sergeant in that vicinity received conflicting orders while trying to make an arrest for disorderly conduct.
Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun
Police guard Lexington Market during an uprising the afternoon followiing the funeral of Freddie Gray.
Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun
The FOP after action report alleged an officer reported not being allowed to leave the Western District to help tired officers on the front line. The officer stated, "I asked to have the officers come to Western District and let us go out."
Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun
In the FOP report an officer on the front line at the Western District reported being told to repeatedly move forward and then back.
Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun
The FOP report says that at a role call on Saturday April 25th with Commissioner Batts the officers were advised to give space to the protestors and not follow as they had done in the prior events.
Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun
The FOP report also alleged that Commissioner Batts told officers not to wear helmets until an on-scene suppervisortold them to put them on.
Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun
The after action report says an officer reported he heard command staff say looting is expected and to let it happen. At CVS officers were told 'do not stop looters' and 'hold your position.'
Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun
Looking south on Pennsylvania Avenue toward North Avenue where a CVS store was burned in rioting. FOP contends that officers were ordered to just watch the looting and destruction.
Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun
The FOP after action report claimed that officers were ill equipped, overwhelmed and sent out with no less lethal crowd control weapons or real secondary plan. The said they were given the order to stand down, yet they could not retreat or defend themselves.
- An officer reported: “I heard command staff on 11A — ‘Looting expected, let it happen.’ At CVS officers were told ‘do not stop looters’ and ‘hold your position.’ Police just watched the looting and destruction. I heard ‘hold the line’ and ‘don’t move forward’ and was praised by the on-scene commander for enduring the attack with no response.”
- An officer reported: “During the afternoon hours of April 25, 2015 while monitoring police radio, I heard command staff give orders over the radio that we were not to engage the rioters and not to do anything that might provoke an incident.”
- An officer deployed on April 25, 2015 reported being instructed to notify the command center to see if he could make an arrest.
reported working riot detail at E. Fayette and Gay St. on April 25, 2015. “… I was involved in an arrest for disorderly conduct. I took the arrestee behind the metal barricades and sat him on the bus stop bench. I was then approached by a command staff member who told me ‘this is what we are going to do, we are going to un-handcuff him and let him go.’ I replied, ‘Sir, he is my arrest and he is not being released.’
Command replied, ‘Sergeant, you were not at the meeting before, you did not get permission from the 9th floor to make an arrest.’ I replied that I would not release the suspect as it was a legal arrest. At that time I was told I was ‘relieved from here go to the atrium and stay there.’ I then grabbed my riot helmet and went to the atrium. Approximately 5-10 minutes passed and I received a call from a lieutenant who told me to come back to the line. I informed him I was just relieved to which he replied the command member had ‘made a phone call’ and I should come back and charge the suspect appropriately, which I did.”
Equipment and supplies
- An officer reported that a sergeant “dug into his own pocket to buy food for us” when none was provided for more than 18 hours.
- An officer reported that a member of the command staff eventually authorized pepper balls, but only at feet, which is “not training protocol.”
- An officer reported an encounter with Commissioner Batts while going to pick up gear on April 27, 2015. The officer reported that Commissioner Batts addressed the officers picking up riot gear: “he said that he never knew that we were not issued any riot gear” and that “he said he had been through many of riots and knew Baltimore was going to have one soon” and “he said he had no idea that the city did not have any riot gear and that he ordered the best gear and money was no issue.” This officer also indicated receiving only one minute of training on how to use the just-issued mask.
- An officer, while deployed at Mondawmin Mall, reported orders given for no helmets, even after being hit by rocks. Command was aware officers had no helmets and reportedly expressed concern about being outflanked. The officer reports an outside agency present with the group had gas but was told not to deploy.
The Fraternal Order of Police released its "after action report" on the police response to rioting in the city, including recommendations for how the situation could have been better managed by police commanders. (Baltimore Sun video)
- An officer reported: “On Saturday, April 25, 2105, I attended a roll call with Commissioner Batts and a member of his command staff. During that roll call, Commissioner Batts told us to take our gloves off and not wear sunglasses because it looks intimidating. He further stated that we were not ready or prepared for what was about to happen. We were told to not wear our helmets until the on-scene supervisor told us to put them on. We were told our job was to deescalate. Command staff told us that we were not allowed to make an arrest unless it was approved by the legal team in unified command.”
- An officer reported that, while trying to disperse a crowd throwing rocks and bottles, Commissioner Batts walked up and “told us to ring our sticks; we looked aggressive on national television.” This officer reported Commissioner Batts was not in uniform at the time.
-An officer reported not being allowed to leave the Western District to help tired officers on the front line: “I asked to have the officers come to Western District and let us go out.”
- An officer on the front line at the Western District on April 25, 2015 reported being told to repeatedly move forward then pull back. “No commander knew how to run the scene.”
- Officers from other agencies confirmed that Baltimore Police Department command staff told officers in Baltimore City FOP Lodge #3’s offices that they should allow rioters to “flip and burn cars and to not take action against property crimes, only if death or personal injury occurs.”
Batts involved in ‘five riots’
- An officer reported: “During this roll call we were advised by Commissioner Batts that we were not ready for what is about to happen. He stated that he has been involved in five full-scale riots and knows firsthand. We were then advised to give space to the protestors and not follow as we had done in prior events. He then stated that we were not to act until they began to loot and burn property in this city. We were told not to wear black gloves and/or sunglasses during any of these events.”
- An officer reported: “On the evening of April 27, 2015, I was one of the officers deployed to the Mondawmin Mall area in reference to the civil unrest/looting that was taking place. We were basically marched out in the street and lined up in front of the increasingly angry mob of people. The manner in which we were lined up left us exposed and out flanked and this basically continued for an extended period of time. We were just pulled back and forth by supervisors yelling to form lines in random patterns and places with no real purpose. On one instance, a member of upper command was making an arrest. The crowd began to move forward to disrupt the process at which time the upper command staff officer retrieved mace and deployed some, not only spraying the crowd but spraying officers down wind, myself included. I began to tear and violently cough. After this incident, we formed another line in the street and at this point, I believed that we were now going to do something to try and control or disperse the crowd. This is when the crowd began to throw rocks, bricks and chunks of concrete. At first, there were just a few objects being thrown. But when the crowd realized that we were not moving forward and not engaging them, they began to throw more and more objects/rocks, all getting bigger in size. I had never in my 14-year career been as afraid as I was at that moment. I was struck with a piece of concrete that I did not see coming. The blow buckled me to my knees. I can recall Commissioner Batts addressing the officers at headquarters prior to going out on the street. He pretty much patted himself on the back making statements like. ‘I have been in five riots and I will assure you that this is the real deal.’ With a potential riot looming, command staff was more concerned with officers not wearing black gloves and looking intimidating. With all this ‘experience’ and beforehand knowledge at Commissioner Batts' disposal, he still led us officers to slaughter. We were 31 ill equipped, overwhelmed and sent out with no less lethal crowd control weapons or real secondary plan. We were given the order to stand down, yet we could not retreat or defend ourselves. It wasn't until after all of the officers were injured that we received riot equipment.”
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Judge strikes state's motion for gag order in Freddie Gray case
By Kevin Rector The Baltimore Sun contact the reporter
Judge in Freddie Gray case rejects Mosby's motion for gag order.
The judge presiding over the prosecution of six Baltimore Police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray struck the state's motion for a gag order in the case.
Judge Charles J. Peters ruled the motion lacked standing in an actual proceeding, as it was filed by Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's office in Circuit Court on May 14. At that time, the officers' cases were still in District Court. They weren't transferred to Circuit Court until May 21, when the officers were indicted.
Rochelle Ritchie, a Mosby spokeswoman, declined to say whether the state planned to file a new gag order motion, which Peters' ruling did not preclude.
"We're not going to litigate this case in the media and discuss our trial strategy," Ritchie said.
Gray, 25, died April 19, one week after being arrested and sustaining a severe spinal cord injury while being transported in a police van, according to Mosby's office.
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the driver of the transport van, has been charged with second-degree murder, and Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter have been charged with manslaughter.
Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, the two officers who along with Rice were involved in Gray's initial arrest, face lesser charges, including second-degree assault.
The attorneys for the six officers had asked the court to strike the state's gag order motion on procedural grounds.
Nineteen media outlets, including The Baltimore Sun, also filed a motion opposing the gag order.
Charging documents for officers in Freddie Gray case
Nathan Siegel, an attorney representing The Sun and other media outlets, noted Mosby's office could still file a new gag order motion, but said Peters' decision "is good for the transparency of this case, at least for now."
Baltimore prosecutor asked police to target area where Freddie Gray was arrested
Defense lawyers for police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody have called for Marilyn Mosby to step down as prosecutor, citing an email calling for increased police activity. (Baltimore Sun video)
By Kevin Rector The Baltimore Sun contact the reporter
Marilyn Mosby asked police to target corner where Freddie Gray ran.
About three weeks before Freddie Gray was chased from a West Baltimore corner by three Baltimore police officers — the start of a fatal encounter — the office of prosecutor Marilyn Mosby asked police to target the intersection with "enhanced" drug enforcement efforts, court documents show.
"State's Attorney Mosby asked me to look into community concerns regarding drug dealing in the area of North Ave and Mount St," Joshua Rosenblatt, division chief of Mosby's Crime Strategies Unit, wrote in a March 17 email to a Western District police commander.
The email was disclosed for the first time Tuesday in a motion filed in Baltimore Circuit Court by defense attorneys for the six officers being prosecuted in Gray's arrest and death. The attorneys said Mosby's involvement in the police initiative mean that she should be removed from the case.
Defense lawyers for police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody have called for Marilyn Mosby to step down as prosecutor, citing an email calling for increased police activity.
"Mrs. Mosby herself is now an integral part of the story and as such is a central witness," the defense attorneys argued. "This is a case where the witness and the prosecutor are one and the same."
Mosby, through spokeswoman Rochelle Ritchie, said, "Consistent with our prosecutorial obligations, we will litigate this case in the courtroom and not in the media."Mosby's office received the motion Tuesday afternoon, Ritchie said.
Mosby's office has dismissed previous defense calls for her recusal, including those based on conflict-of-interest allegations stemming from her husband's post as city councilman in the district where Gray was arrested.
In their motion Tuesday, defense attorneys said the email exchange shows that Mosby knew the area where Gray was chased was a high-crime location. They said that bolsters their argument that officers were within their rights to detain and handcuff Gray — even before finding a knife and officially arresting him.
"It must be understood that Mrs. Mosby was directing these officers to one of the highest crime intersections in Baltimore City and asking them to make arrests, conduct surveillance, and stop crime," the defense attorneys wrote. "Now, the State is apparently making the unimaginable argument that the police officers are not allowed to use handcuffs to protect their safety and prevent flight in an investigatory detention where the suspect fled in a high crime area and actually had a weapon on him."
In the March 17 email to Maj. Osborne Robinson, Rosenblatt wrote that Mosby's office wanted to build on the success in reducing crime in the West Baltimore neighborhood through the Operation Ceasefire program by "targeting that intersection for enhanced prosecutorial (and hopefully police) attention." In that program, prosecutors, police and community groups work together to persuade criminals to reform.
On March 20, Robinson forwarded Rosenblatt's email to several Western District officers, including Lt. Brian W. Rice. He was one of the three officers who arrested Gray and one of the six later charged in Gray's arrest and death.
Robinson told Rice and the other officers to begin a "daily narcotics initiative" focused on North Avenue and Mount Street, according to the email, and said he would be collecting "daily measurable" from them on their progress.
"This is effective immediately," Robinson wrote, noting that the officers should use cameras, informants and other covert policing tactics to get the job done.
Lt. Kenneth Butler, president of the Vanguard Justice Society, a group for minority and female Baltimore police officers, said that when orders such as Robinson's come down to target a specific corner, the response is consistent. "They want increased productivity, whether it be car stops, field interviews, arrests — that's what they mean by measurable," he said.
Butler, who said he has been a shift commander on and off for the past 15 years, added, "You have to use whatever tools you have — whether it be bike officers, cameras, foot officers, whatever you have — to abate that problem. So you're going to have to be aggressive."
Butler said that he has never seen such orders come from the state's attorney's office but that they come at the request of politicians and community leaders all the time.
"Once you're given an order, you have to carry it out. It's just that simple," he said.
Kinji Scott, a longtime community activist, defended Mosby's crime-fighting efforts. He said she did not order police to "put Freddie Gray in a situation where he had his spine severed. ... We cannot fault her for doing her job and being involved in the community."
Gray, 25, was arrested April 12 a couple of blocks south of North Avenue and Mount Street after making eye contact with police and running away, according to police. Mosby's office said Gray sustained a severe spinal cord injury while being transported in a police van.
His death a week later, April 19, touched off days of protests that culminated in looting, arson and rioting in a number of neighborhoods, forcing city officials to call in the National Guard and implement a curfew.
Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., the driver of the police van, was charged with second-degree depraved heart murder; Rice, Sgt. Alicia D. White and Officer William G. Porter have been charged with manslaughter.
Officers Edward M. Nero and Garrett E. Miller, the two others involved in Gray's arrest, face lesser charges, including second-degree assault.
Under Operation Ceasefire, which tries to break the cycle of recidivism by offering repeat offenders social services to leave crime behind, police and prosecutors sometimes share ideas and coordinate to keep the worst offenders off city streets.
According to Rosenblatt's email, Mosby had been contacted for help in addressing drug dealing at North and Mount by a "mentoring group" that described a "drug shop located directly outside of their facilities." Rosenblatt, a former city detective, said Mosby had received photographs from a resident of drug dealing at the corner.
"I realize that resources are thin for a long-term investigation, but hopefully we can combine community involvement with [the state's attorney's office and Police Department] cooperation to make something happen," Rosenblatt wrote.
Rosenblatt's Crime Strategies Unit, according to the state's attorney's website, uses "technology, data analysis, and intelligence-gathering to identify trends in crime, focus in on the offenders driving that crime, and target those offenders for enforcement."
Rosenblatt could not be reached for comment.
Defense attorneys for the six officers have argued previously that Mosby should not handle the case because of alleged conflicts of interest, including "the seizing of political and personal gain by" Mosby and her husband, City Councilman Nick Mosby, and close ties between her and attorney William H. "Billy" Murphy Jr., who represents Gray's family.
Nick Mosby represents the district where the worst of the rioting occurred after Gray's death. Murphy supported Marilyn Mosby's election campaign, served on her transition committee and represented her in a matter before the Attorney Grievance Commission.
Murphy declined to comment Tuesday; Nick Mosby did not respond to a request for comment.
Mosby and her office have dismissed the alleged conflicts as baseless.
In a state filing, Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow called the suggestion that Nick Mosby's position was a conflict that should prevent her from trying casesin an entire city district "truly a breathtaking non-sequitur."
Schatzow also wrote that the "notion that Mrs. Mosby would bring baseless criminal charges with the entire nation watching just so that Mr. Murphy might have some advantage in the civil case is ludicrous."
In the same filing, Schatzow said Gray's arrest was illegal.
"Mr. Gray was arrested well before the arresting officers knew he possessed a knife," Schatzow wrote. "Mr. Gray was handcuffed at his surrendering location, moved a few feet away, and placed in a prone position with his arms handcuffed behind his back, all before the arresting officers found the knife."
Defense attorneys said in their filing Tuesday that Mosby's office had come up with this "new theory" to support otherwise unfounded charges against the arresting officers. They wrote that the involuntary detention of a suspect using handcuffs prior to an arrest — known commonly as a "stop and frisk" — is legal according to decisions by the Supreme Court and Maryland appeals courts, as well as the Baltimore Police Department's general orders.
Stop-and-frisk policies have long been controversial in Baltimore, where a decade of "zero-tolerance" policing, including under then-Mayor Martin O'Malley, sparked resentment from residents, especially in predominantly African-American neighborhoods where residents say young men are harassed by police.
In 2013, Baltimore police stopped using the term "stop-and-frisk" to describe their tactics, but continued stopping and searching individuals suspected of criminal activity.
Under a 2006 general order that was valid until April of this year, officers were told they could use handcuffs during "involuntary detentions" based on "reasonable suspicion" — a standard that "is more than mere suspicion, but less than probable cause."
a revised policy was issued, but it did not change the department's basic stance on the use of handcuffs during such stops. According to the policy, "investigative stops" can involve the "delay or hindrance of an individual's freedom of movement" when an officer has a "reasonable, articulable suspicion" to justify it.
Such a suspicion can be based on a variety of actions, the policy says, including "furtive behavior," "evasive conduct or unprovoked flight" and "presence in a high crime area."
Byron Warnken, a law professor at the University of Baltimore, said there is "an amorphous sliding scale between a stop and an arrest." It is based on overall circumstances, including how long a person is detained, use of force and the factors that led the officers to become suspicious.
Warnken's firm was hired by Mosby's office before Gray's arrest to train Baltimore officers on Fourth Amendment issues. He said he will be teaching nuances of the law to officers enrolled in his training courses in the coming weeks.
The defense attorneys said Gray was only detained long enough for officers to protect their safety with a weapons check and confirm their suspicions of criminal activity through the discovery of the knife.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Former police commissioner: Mosby 'incompetent' and 'vindictive'
The former police commissioner in charge when Freddie Gray died from injuries sustained in a Baltimore police van said State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby is "in over her head" and has added more flaws to a broken justice system by prosecuting innocent officers.
"She's immature, she's incompetent, she's vindictive and that's not how the justice system is supposed to work," former Baltimore police commissioner Anthony W. Batts said on Wednesday. "The justice system is supposed to be without bias for police officers, for African Americans, for everyone."
Batts led Baltimore police from the fall of 2012 until Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake fired him in July 2015 amid a surge in city homicides that followed weeks of criticism from the police union over his handling of the city's riots two months before.
Batts said Mosby never should have filed charges against the six officers involved in Gray's arrest, and that her decision Wednesday to drop charges against the remaining three officers facing trials was long overdue.
Her actions, Batts said, have further harmed a criminal justice system in need of repairs.
"Don't create more flaws in that broken system," he said. "And you don't do it on the back of innocent people just to prove that point."
A spokeswoman from the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office did not respond to Batts' specific claims, but lumped them with the comments made by the GOP's presidential candidate.
"Today Donald Trump and former commissioner Anthony Batts have attacked the State's Attorney in numerous ways, but as our First Lady Michelle Obama said, when they go low we go high," said Rochelle Ritchie, a spokeswoman for Mosby's office.
Weeks of an internal police investigation found no evidence that officers committed any crimes or meant to hurt Gray, Batts said. The former police commissioner said he has always acknowledged that mistakes were made, and that Gray should have been given medical care during his fatal van ride.
"There was no question that Freddie Gray should have gone home after that interaction," Batts said. "But sometimes when people are doing the job of police work, bad things happen sometimes."
Days after Gray's death, Batts said he personally urged the Baltimore city solicitor to issue a civil settlement in the case. In September 2015, the city approved a $6.4 million payout to the Gray family, accepting all civil liability.
"I was proud of the city stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility," he said.
Forty officers on a task force Batts convened to investigate Gray's death looked at every angle of Gray's arrest and could not find evidence of a crime, Batts said. That became clear in court and to the public after prosecutors failed to secure any convictions through four trials.
"My heart bled for these officers as they went through these steps," Batts said. "I think Marilyn Mosby is in over her head."
He said the six officers who faced trials have "a good heart."
"I didn't see any malice in the heart of those police officers," Batts said. "I don't think those officers involved are those you would put in the class of bad or malicious or evil police officers."
Batts, who also oversaw police departments in Long Beach and Oakland, Calif., is currently working as a consultant with the AWW Group training police commanders, including a group in Fort Worth, Texas, last week.
He said there were problems within the Baltimore Police Department, and said one of his top priorities was to root out corrupt or abusive officers during his tenure — even to the point that his calls for reform and transparency made enemies on the force, who called for his firing.
While he said he had a responsibility to protect his officers, "my bigger responsibility is to the public trust to make sure they had all the information and the correct information."
He took umbrage at Mosby saying police "bias" obstructed her case, and said his tenure showed patterns of creating transparency, such as when he gave the family of Anthony Anderson a copy of his autopsy and appointed an independent commission to look into his 2012 death.
Anderson died from internal injuries after he was tackled by police officers during a drug investigation. The State's Attorney's Office, which was run then by Mosby's predecessor, did not file charges against officers in that case.
Batts said Mosby cannot make police her scapegoat by saying officers obstructed her investigation to protect their colleagues.
"There was no obstruction," Batts said. "I would have taken off anyone's head if I knew they were obstructionist. … The judge said it: (The case) didn't have merit and you can't put that on anyone else."
Baltimore Mayor: Space Was Provided To Those Who ‘Wished To Destroy’
Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made a stunning admission Saturday in the aftermath of violent protests over the recent death of Freddie Gray, saying she wanted to give space to those “who wished to destroy.” And destroy, some did. Numerous storefronts and vehicles were damaged and businesses were looted at the tail end of a day of demonstrations. Thirty-four people were arrested and six police officers suffered minor injuries. Baseball fans attending a game at Camden Yards were told to stay inside the ballpark until violence outside of the stadium subsided.
“I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” Rawlings-Blake said during a press conference Saturday night.
In Context: What Baltimore's mayor said about space for rioters
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake reacts to charges that she allowed rioters to loot and burn.
Did Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake make a conscious decision to allow violent protestors to loot and set fire to stores and police cars in her city? That’s the take from conservative pundits and journalists.
The unrest began Saturday, April 25, in Baltimore as a peaceful march spun off groups who battled with police. As the evening wore on, about 1,300 police officers from the city and nearby jurisdictions fought to maintain control. That night, Rawlings-Blake held a news conference.
A local CBS news video caught her saying we "gave those who wished to destroy space." The online conservative news outlet Daily Caller picked up on that, as did conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh (hat-tip to Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel).
"Baltimore, like our ambassador in Libya, was left unprotected and undefended," Limbaugh said April 26. "Those who wished to destroy were given space to do it because on balance -- and that's what this is all about, she said -- on balance that's the safest way to go."
We thought it would help to provide the entire text of what the mayor said, and the clarification her office put out about 24 hours later.
Here’s how Rawlings-Blake responded to a question of how the police conducted themselves Saturday night. (The question was inaudible, but the mayor said later it focused on property damage.)
"We’ve had these kinds of conversations before, and I made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate and that’s what you saw this evening."
And this is the full text of the statement from the mayor’s office the next day, Sunday. It came out under the name of Howard Libit, director of Strategic Planning and Policy:
"What she is saying within this statement was that there was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday. Unfortunately, as a result of providing the peaceful demonstrators with the space to share their message, that also meant that those seeking to incite violence also had the space to operate. The police sought to balance the rights of the peaceful demonstrators against the need to step in against those who were seeking to create violence.
"The mayor is not saying that she asked police to give space to people who sought to create violence. Any suggestion otherwise would be a misinterpretation of her statement."
Her office also offered an official clarification of her comments with emphasis added:
"I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act, because, while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also [as a result] gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de escalate, and that’s what you saw."
On Monday,April 27, the mayor held another news conference where she was asked if her words might have encouraged the renewed rioting on Monday. Here is that transcript:
"The very blatant mischaracterization of my words was not helpful today. I was asked a question about the property damage that was done. And in answering that question I made it very clear that we balance a very fine line between giving peaceful protestors space to protest. What I said is, in doing so, people can hijack that and use that space for bad. I did not say we were accepting of it. I did not say we were passive to it. I was just explaining how property damage can happen during a peaceful protest. It is very unfortunate that members of your industry decided to mischaracterize my words and try to use it as a way to say that we are inciting violence."
Question: "There was no word to the police to hold back. To let some of this happen?"
"Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And I’ve never said anything to that effect. What we did was manage a peaceful protest in the best way possible and when it got violent and destructive, we responded to that. We have an obligation to protect people's’ First Amendment rights. We also understand that through the best training and best practices that we have to do everything that we can to de-escalate and those were the tactics that were deployed.
"Did people exploit those tactics, that space that we facilitated for people to have peaceful protest for bad? Yes they did. But we didn't endorse it. We didn’t allow it."
There were about 35 arrests Saturday night, followed by a lull. Then on Monday, the violence erupted more powerfully than ever. Rioters ransacked a mall as well as many other local merchants. There was looting and arson. Police arrested hundreds of people. The mayor imposed a curfew and asked the governor to send in units of the National Guard.
The mayor’s words on Saturday were at best garbled, but by late the next day, the public had a clearer understanding of her meaning. Now I know the mayor and the rest of their (politions) world have a different set of rules, but, I was told as a police officer, it doesn't matter what you meant, or meant, it only matters what they thing you mean or meant. With that, it doesn't matter what she meant.. and the aftermath of her comments in Baltimore prooves that...
Liberals make excuses for Baltimore riots
The apologetics began almost as soon as the fires were lit in Baltimore yesterday, heralding a night of violence and looting that would leave 24 police officers injured and 19 buildings torched, including a $16 million senior center providing affordable housing and a CVS drugstore providing crucial medications for elderly customers.
Society “refuses to help [young blacks] in a serious fashion,” Michael Eric Dyson announced on MSNBC. “We’re only there when they riot.” Mika Brzezinski observed on “Morning Joe”: “This was an extremely, desperately poor city. This was bound to happen.”
We were seeing an “uprising of young people against the police,” the result of a “combination of anger and disparity,” said professional talking head Wes Moore.
Neill Franklin, a former Baltimore police officer and member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, blamed the drug laws.
In other words, the looters and arsonists were pushed to the breaking point by racism, poverty and police brutality, the latter exemplified by the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. The rioters’ means may have been regrettable, but they were engaged in a profound, if fiery, cri de coeur against the social injustice in which we all play a part.
Bunk. What happened last evening in Baltimore was simply a larger and better-covered version of the flash mobs that have beset American cities for the last half-decade, in which black youths gather via social media to steal from stores and assault whites.
In May 2012, for example, students from Mervo High School in Northeast Baltimore crammed into a 7-Eleven store that was offering free Slurpees as a promotion.
The teens grabbed all the merchandise they could get their hands on — $6,000 worth in total — and fled from the store. The manager tried to close the door to prevent the thieves from escaping and was viciously beaten.
On St. Patrick’s Day that same year, a flash mob converged on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
The Baltimore Sun reported that by the time the rampage ended, “one youth had been stabbed, a tourist had been robbed, beaten and stripped of his clothes, and others had been forced to take refuge inside a hotel lobby to escape an angry mob.”
Last April, a bicyclist in Baltimore was attacked by a group of black teens who knocked him off his bike and pummeled him.
Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC, among other cities, have all grappled with similar violence.
None of it deserves a righteous political gloss. Nor does the violence last night, which began with an invitation sent out over social media to convene at a local mall and “purge” it.
Perhaps if the media had not shrunk from reporting on the flash mob phenomenon and the related “knockout game” — in which teenagers tried to knock out unsuspecting bystanders with a single sucker punch — we might have made a modicum of progress in addressing or at least acknowledging the real cause of black violence: the breakdown of the family.
A widely circulated video from Baltimore’s mayhem shows a furious mother whacking her hoodie-encased son to prevent him from joining the mob. This tiger mom may well have the capacity to rein in her would-be vandal son. But the odds are against her.
Warning: Explicit content
Try as they might, single mothers are generally overmatched in raising males. Boys need their fathers. But over 72 percent of black children are born to single-mother households today, three times the black illegitimacy rate when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote his prescient analysis of black family breakdown in 1965.
Baltimore Councilman Brandon Scott came closest to the truth last night in a city news conference when he angrily called on adults to “get out there and stand up for your neighborhood…Adults have to step up and be adults and control our future.”
True enough. But primary responsibility lies with children’s own two parents. Pace Dyson, “we” have spent trillions of dollars since the 1960s trying to help black youth. A social worker and a government check are no substitute for a father and mother, however.
The same day that the student mob looted the 7-Eleven in 2012, eight people were shot in Baltimore in just 24 hours, a toll typical of Baltimore’s astronomical crime rate.
Magnitudes more black men are killed by other black men in Baltimore and other American cities than by the police.
But those killings are ignored, because they don’t fit into the favored narrative of a white, racist America lethally oppressing blacks.
Police misconduct is deplorable and must be eradicated wherever it exists. But until the black crime rate comes down, police presence is going to be higher in black neighborhoods, increasing the chances that when police tactics go awry, they will have a black victim.
Baltimore’s response to the rioting was shamefully hesitant. The police stood by during the start of the arson, even as looters severed a fire hose brought in to try to save the doomed CVS store.
Apparently, the ludicrous meme that the press promulgated after the August riots in Ferguson, Mo. — that the violence was provoked by a military-style police presence, rather than by the rioters themselves — has taken hold and inhibited police agencies from fulfilling their core duty to protect life and property.
The next outbreak of mob violence should be greeted with the force that it deserves.
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a City Journal contributing editor. From City Journal.
Baltimore Police Radio Dispatch Reveals: Stunning Evidence of Marilyn Mosby’s “Egregious Rush to Judgment” In Her Direct Action Charges…
[Marilyn Mosby’s] case against the two arresting officers rests upon an “illegal” arrest. She says the knife that Freddie Gray was carrying was legal. But the police task force examined it and said the officers were indeed correct, the knife was spring-assisted and therefore prohibited.
It’s Mosby who made the “illegal” arrest, and could be charged under her own theory of “false imprisonment.” And sued to boot, since she forfeited her immunity from civil action by doing the charging herself. (link)
We continue looking through the direct action filing, the probable cause to arrest determination, as outlined in Mosby’s own words – and comparing her words to the factual evidence she is seeking to hide. What we are finding is jaw dropping.
[…] “Despite stopping for the purpose of checking on Mr. Gray’s condition, at no point did [Officer Goodson] seek nor did he render any medical assistance for Mr. Gray.” (link)
This is a lie! An intentional lie we will prove below.
As previously outlined the claim of the knife not being legally justifiable for arrest has now been thoroughly deconstructed. So now we look forward to the claim that the officers attempted to render no appropriate aid to Freddie Gray.
As stunning as the manipulative presentation surrounding the knife was, the claim she made that no medical aid was attempted is brutally flawed, and bordering on criminally liable.
In doing this research we also discover even more evidence of unethical conduct in the relationship between Mosby’s Deputy Attorney, Janice Bledsoe and her domestic partner reporter Jayne Miller of (WBAL-TV).
*Note* This outline is a collaborative effort by a contributing source that did not directly give permission for a citation. In addition, this is our first attempt at using uploaded audio files to aid readers/researchers in understanding the facts of the events discussed. Because we are alone in the research, and because it is exhausting to dig through the clouds of false data provided by the MSM, we are trying to cite to you the “original data” so you can make up your own mind.
The attached audio file below is the Fire/EMS Services recording from radio calls the morning Freddie Gray was injured in Baltimore.
Start listening to above audio dispatch beginning 4 minutes, 20 seconds. 9:22AM
♦ EMS dispatched unit 15 at police request to 1600 W. North Ave. Unit 15 believes that they are responding to a male patient with a possible injured arm.
EMS has confused another earlier dispatch request that came in for a person with a broken arm on Mosby Street near Security Blvd (if you listen carefully you can hear the EMS dispatcher get these two separate calls mixed up).
♦ Even though unit 15 is sent, dispatch does not reply to the police about their request at 1600 W. North Ave. *NOTE* This is the exact time/place where the second person was loaded into the van with Mr. Gray.
It is also the only EMS call in the timeframe of the Freddie Gray transport from 1600 W. North Ave to the Western District HQ.
♦ The police do not get a reply from EMS dispatch. They make the decision to load passenger #2 along with Freddie Gray into the van and head for Western District HQ (instead of central processing).
Either by design or a bit of luck, Western District HQ is close to UMBC shock trauma center where Mr. Gray is eventually resuscitated (and sadly dies seven days later in surgery).
♦ An officer is left behind at 1600 W. North Ave. to notify EMS if/when they show up.
♦ At 8 minutes, 54 seconds. 9:26AM. EMS arrives at 1600 W. North Ave. (Unit 15) and reports to dispatch that police told EMS that they have taken the patient to Western District HQ.
♦ At 9 minutes, 23 seconds. 9:29AM. Unit 15 EMS is dispatched to Western District HQ to catch up with patient.
♦ At 10 minutes, 39 seconds. 9:31AM. Unit 15 EMS catches up with the van and both the van and EMS Unit 15 arrive at Western District HQ. EMS Unit 15 reports to dispatch that they are with the patient.
♦ At 19 minutes, 0 seconds. 9:39AM. Unit 3 EMS and Fire Engine 8 are dispatched to Western District HQ because patient has stopped breathing.
Those facts are clearly outline in the radio calls, and supported by video as well as BPD statements. However, that factual series of events is not what Mosby choose to outline in her explanation for charges. Instead a false presentation of information is fed to the media through her press conference – read here.
The Mosby version of events contradicts the facts but parallels a prior media report.
Janice Bledsoe (Mosby Deputy Attorney) left – Jayne Miller (WBAL-TV) right
A media report delivered by Jayne Miller (WBAL-TV) who you’ll remember is the domestic partner (girlfriend) of the lead investigator from Mosby’s office, Janice Bledsoe.
Jayne Miller from WBALTV sold this version:
[…] “The call for a paramedic for Gray came 40 minutes after he was loaded into a police van. The exact time of his injury remains unknown. The call was made at 9:26 a.m. by police after the van transporting Gray reached the Western District police station.
Gray was unresponsive at that point, but that is not the injury paramedics were expecting to find. According to new information obtained by the 11 News I-Team, the injury described in dispatching the call was for a broken arm, far less serious than a man unable to breathe.
The medic unit arrived at the Western District at 9:33 a.m., but without the fire engine and extra manpower usually dispatched with a more serious call.” (link)
The truth is the call to EMS by police was made before 9:23AM before the van even left to go to the Western District Police Station.
The police never got a response from EMS dispatch. The EMS dispatcher sent EMS Unit 15 to the 1600 W North Ave location in response to the police request at 9:23AM.
EMS dispatch failed to tell EMS Unit 15 the actual symptoms of the person needing assistance at 1600 W. North Ave. This was simply a mistake by the dispatcher.
After that, EMS Unit 15 catches up with the patient at Western District HQ.
Unit 15 calls into dispatch to let them know they are with the patient.
10 minutes after reporting that they were with the patient, EMS Unit 15 reports that he has stopped breathing and requests additional assistance.
EMS crash unit 2 is ordered to respond to assist. This unit is not available. EMS crash unit 3 responds instead with Fire Engine 8.
EMS crash units are for severe injuries and have personnel qualified to handle critical care patients. By the time they get there, Mr. Gray is in cardiac arrest. EMS Unit 3 takes Mr. Gray to UMBC shock trauma center. Mr. Gray dies 7 days later.
These are the facts.
However, WBAL-TV Jayne Miller’s version of events is in opposition to the facts, but they do align with the version found in the Mosby probable cause for arrest explanation.
If Jayne Miller was reporting on raw data she was interpreting, she would not be reporting false information – and her reporting would not align with the end result which was released by Marily Mosby.
What her reporting shows is that rather than actually use the data available, Jayne Miller used the narrative of the information she received from a source in the investigation. A version of events which would turn up in the claims of Mosby days later.
Who was the likely source of that false and misleading media narrative? It would be profoundly obtuse not to accept that version came from Jayne Miller’s roommate, the Deputy Attorney in Mosby’s office, Janice Bledsoe.
Baltimore police department requests federal help to combat surge in crime
© AP Photo/Matt Rourke A man on a bicycle greets Maryland State Troopers on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in the aftermath of rioting following Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray, who died in police custody. The violence that started in West Baltimore…
Baltimore police are seeking federal assistance to combat a surging crime rate as the city deals with the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, an incident that sparked days of intense protests.
Police commissioner Anthony Batts said on Wednesday that the department had requested more federal agents and prosecutors to be dispatched to Baltimore after the city recorded 43 murders in May, the highest murder rate in the city since 1972.
“We understand fully the concern over the recent violence,” Batts said. “Nothing is more important than the sanctity of human life within this city.”
Batts said the city’s police department was “in a stage of frustration and anger” because of this unrest and the charges against six officers over Gray’s death.
Gray, 25, died in April after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody. His death sparked demonstrations that included rioting and looting. In May, Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six police officers in the case.
Batts said that during and since the looting and protests, 27 pharmacies and two methadone clinics had been broken into.
“There’s enough narcotics on the streets of Baltimore to keep it intoxicated for a year,” he said.
Batts said that increase had thrown the city off-balance. He also linked the violence to turf wars between drug dealers.
“Criminals are selling those stolen drugs,” Batts said. “There are turf wars that are leading to violence and shootings in our city.”
Batts’s announcement came on the same day Baltimore police released new statistics about how many officers have been fired for misconduct since the commissioner started work in September 2012. The numbers were released following conflicting reports about how many people had been terminated.
In March, a spokesperson for Batts told the Baltimore Sun 25 people had been fired. In April, Batts said 50 employees had been terminated for misconduct. On Wednesday, the department said: “There have been a total of 72 forced separations from the agency.”
“The forced separations assist in building trust both in the community and within the department,” Baltimore police said in a statement on Wednesday.
A complete transcript of State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s press conference announcing criminal charges against six officerswith Baltimore Police Department in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray:
"I need to express my publicly sympathies of the loved ones of Freddie Gray. I had the opportunity to meet with Gray’s family to discuss some of the details of the case and the procedural steps going forward. I assured his family that no one is above the law and that I would pursue justice on their behalf.
To the thousands of city residents, community organizers and faith leaders and political leaders that chose to march peacefully throughout Baltimore. I commend your courage to stand for justice. I also commend the brave men and women both in uniform and out who have stepped up Monday Night to protect our community from those who wish to destroy it.
As the city’s chief deputy prosecutor I've been sworn to uphold justice and to treat every individual within the jurisdiction of the Baltimore city equally and fairly under the law. I take this oath seriously and I want the public to know my administration is committed to creating a fair and equitable justice system for all. No matter what your occupation, your age, your race, your color or your creed. It is my job to examine and investigate the evidence of each case and apply those facts to the elements of a crime in order to make a determination as to whether individuals should be prosecuted. This is a tremendous responsibility, but one I saw and accepted when the citizens of Baltimore city elected me as the state’s attorney and it is precisely what I did in the case of Freddie Gray.
STASI: MARILYN MOSBY BECOMES NEWEST LAW ENFORCEMENT STAR
Joe Marino/New York Daily News
State Attorney General Marilyn Mosby at a press conference announcing the charges against six Baltimore City Police Officers in the death of Freddie Gray arrest on Friday morning.
Once alerted about this incident on April 13, investigators from my police integrity unit were deployed to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Gray’s apprehension. Over the course of our independent investigation, in the untimely death of Mr. Gray, my team worked around the clock; 12 and 14 hour days to canvas and interview dozens of witnesses; view numerous hours of video footage; repeatedly reviewed and listened to hours of police video tape statements; surveyed the route, reviewed voluminous medical records; and we leveraged the information made available by the police department, the community and family of Mr. Gray.
The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the medical examiner's determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide that we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges.
FREDDIE GRAY TIMELINE: THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO HIS DEATH IN BALTIMORE POLICE CUSTODY
The statement of probable cause is as follows:
On April, 12 2015 between 8:45 and 9:15 a.m., near the corner of North Avenue and Mount Street. Lt. Rice of the Baltimore Police Department while on bike patrol with Officer Garrett Miller and Edward Nero made eye contact with Freddie Carlos Gray Jr.
Having made eye contact with Mr. Gray, Mr. Gray subsequently ran from Lt. Rice. Lt. Rice then dispatched over departmental radio that he was involved in a foot pursuit at which time bike patrol officers and Nero began to pursue Mr. Gray. Having come in contact with pursuing officers, Mr. Gray surrendered to Officers Miller and Nero in the vicinity in the 1700 block of Presbury Street.
Freddie Gray is pictured being arrested by Baltimore police officers the morning of April 12 after he ran from a pair of bicycle officers on patrol.
Officer Miller and Nero then handcuffed Mr. Gray and moved him to a location a few feet away from his surrendering location Mr. Gray was then placed in a prone position with his arms handcuffed behind his back. It was at this time that Mr. Gray indicated he could not breathe and requested an inhaler to no avail. Officer Miller and Nero then placed Mr. Gray in a seated position and substantially found a knife clipped to the inside of his pants pocket. The blade of the knife was folded into the handle. The knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law. These officers then removed the knife and placed it on the sidewalk.
Officer Edward Nero is pictured from a video grab of Freddie Gray's arrest on April 12.
Mr. Gray was then placed back down on his stomach at which time Mr. Gray began to flail his legs and scream as Officer Miller placed Mr. Gray in a restraining technique known as a leg lace. While Officer Nero physically held him down against him will while a BPD wagon arrived to transport Mr. Gray.
Lt. Rice, Officer Miller and Officer Nero failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest as no crime had been committed by Mr. Gray. Accordingly Lt. Rice Officer MIller and Office Nero illegally arrested Mr. Gray. Upon arrival of the transport wagon driven by Officer Caesar Goodson. Lt. Rice Officer Miller and Officer Nero loaded Mr. Gray into the wagon and at no point was he secured by a seatbelt while in the wagon contrary to a BPD general order. Lt. Rice then directed the BPD wagon to stop at Baker Street. At Baker Street, Lt. Rice, Officer Nero and Officer Miller removed Mr. Gray from the wagon, placed flexi-cuffs on his wrists, placed leg shackles on his ankles and completed required paperwork.
Officer Miller, Officer Nero and Lt. Rice then loaded Mr. Gray back into the wagon, placing him on his stomach, head first onto the floor of the wagon. Once again Mr. Gray was not secured by a seatbelt in the wagon contrary to a BPD general order.
Lt. Rice then directed Officer Goodson to transport Mr. Gray to the Central Booking & Intake Facility. Following transport from Baker Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside of the BPD wagon.
From Baker Street, Officer Goodson proceeded to the vicinity of Mosher Street and Fremont Avenue where he subsequently parked the wagon and proceeded to the back of the wagon to observe Mr. Gray. Despite stopping for the purpose of checking on Mr. Gray’s condition, at no point did he seek nor did he render any medical assistance for Mr. Gray. Officer Goodson returned to his driver’s seat and proceed toward the Central Booking & Intake facility with Mr. Gray still unsecured by a seatbelt contrary to a BPD general order.
EDITORIAL: JUSTICE FOR FREDDIE GRAY AS BALTIMORE'S MARILYN MOSBY FILES DAMNING CHARGES AGAINST SIX POLICE OFFICERS
Several blocks later, Officer Goodson called into dispatch that he needed to check on the status of his prisoner and requested additional units at Dolphin Street and Druid Hill Avenue. Officer William Porter arrived on the scene at Dolphin Street and Druid HIll Avenue. Both Officer Goodson and porter proceeded to the back of the wagon to check on the status of Mr. Gray’s condition. Mr. Gray at that time requested help and indicated that he could not breathe. Officer Porter asked Mr. Gray if he needed a medic at which time Mr. Gray indicated at least twice that he was in need of a medic. Officer Porter then physically assisted Mr. Gray from the floor of the van to the bench however despite Mr. Gray’s appeal for a medic, both officers assessed Mr. Gray’s condition and at no point did either of them restrain Mr. Gray per BPD general order nor did they render or request medical assistance.
New York Daily News
While discussing the transportation of Mr. Gray for medical attention, a request for additional units was made for an arrest at the 1600 West North Avenue. Officer Porter left the scene of Druid Hill Avenue to assist in the arrest of another prisoner at North Avenue. Despite Mr. Gray’s obvious and recognized need for medical assistance, Officer Goodson in a grossly negligent manner chose to respond to the 1600 block of West North Avenue with Mr. Gray still unsecured by a seatbelt in the wagon without rendering to or summoning medical assistance for Mr. Gray.
Officer Goodson arrived at North Avenue to transport the individual arrested at the location of North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue at which time he was again met by Officer Nero, Miller and Porter. Once the wagon arrived, Officer Goodson walked to the back of the wagon and again opened the doors to the wagon to make observations of Mr. Gray.
Sgt. Alicia White, Officer Porter and Officer Goodson observed Mr. Gray unresponsive on the floor of the wagon. Sgt. White who is responsible for investigating two citizen complaints pertaining to Mr. Gray’s illegal arrest spoke to the back of Mr. Gray’s head. When he did not respond, she did nothing further despite the fact that she was advised that he needed a medic. She made no effort to look or assess or determine his condition.
Despite Mr. Gray’s seriously deteriorating medical condition, no medical assistance was rendered or summoned for Mr. Gray at that time by any officer.
After completing the North Avenue arrest and loading the additional prisoner into the opposite side of the wagon containing Mr. Gray, Officer Goodson then proceeded to the Western District Station where contrary to the BPD general order, he again failed to restrain Mr. Gray in the wagon for at least the fifth time.
At the Western District Police Station the defendant arrested at North Avenue was unloaded, escorted and secured inside of the police station prior to attending to Mr. Gray.
Courtesy Gray family
Freddie Gray is pictured in a hospital bed after being arrested by Baltimore City Police. Gray later died from injuries sustained while in custody.
By the time Officer Zachary Novak and Sgt. White attempted to remove Mr. Gray from the wagon, Mr. Gray was no longer breathing at all. A medic was finally called to the scene where upon arrival, the medic determined Mr. Gray was now in cardiac arrest and was critically and severely injured.
Mr. Gray was rushed to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma where he underwent surgery. On April 19, 2015, Mr. Gray succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. The manner of death deemed homicide by the Maryland Medical Examiner is believed to be the result of a fatal injury that occurred while Mr. Gray was unrestrained by a seatbelt in custody of the Baltimore Police Department wagon.
All events occurred in Baltimore City State of Maryland. While each of these officer are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
We have brought the following charges (The charges as detailed by the Daily News have been condensed for clarity.):
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45: Second-degree depraved murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office.
Officer William Porter, 25: Involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Lt. Brian Rice, 41: Involuntary manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
Officer Edward Nero, 29: Two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
Officer Garrett Miller, 26: Two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and one false imprisonment charge.
Sgt. Alicia White, 30: Involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Edward Nero, one of the Baltimore cops charged for his involvement in the Freddie Gray arrest and subsequent death, shaking hands with the Baltimore Police Commissioner.
While I am committed to transparency, what I have revealed here today is now a matter of public record. However, the evidence we have collected and continue to collect cannot ethically be released to the public and I strongly condemn anyone in law enforcement with access to trial evidence who has leaked information prior resolution of this case. You are only damaging our ability to conduct a fair and impartial process for all parties involved.
I hope that as we move forward with this case everyone will respect due process and refrain from doing anything that would jeopardize our ability to seek justice.
To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America: I heard your call for ‘No justice, no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man."
To those that are angry, hurt or have their own experiences of injustice at the hands of police officers I urge you to channel that energy peacefully as we prosecute this case I have heard your calls for ‘No justice, no peace,’ however your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray.
Gray's death has spawned nights of unrest in Baltimore with police arresting hundreds of protesters and rioters that have set fires, broken into buildings and thrown objects at officers.
To the rank and file officers of the Baltimore Police Department, please know that these accusations of these six officers are not an indictment on the entire force.
I come from five generations of law enforcement. My father was an officer, my mother was an officer, several of my aunts and uncles, my recently departed and beloved grandfather was one of the founding members of the first black police organization in Massachusetts. I can tell you that the actions of these officers will not and should not, in any way, damage the important working relationships between police and prosecutors as we continue to fight together to reduce crime in Baltimore. Thank you for your courage, committee and sacrifice for the betterment of the community.
Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby walks down the stairs followed by her legal team to speak on recent violence.
Lastly, I’d like to thank my team for working around the clock since the day that we learned of this tragic incident. We have conducted a thorough and independent investigation of this case. This independent investigation was led by my deputy state attorneys, Janice Bledsoe and Michael Schatzow, my investigators Wayne Williams, Avon Mackle and the hardworking investigative team that were here and still are very much committed to pursuing justice.
I’d also like the Baltimore City Police department particularly Major Branford of the homicide unit and Rodney Hill of the Internal Affairs Division for providing us with a hard copy of the investigative material yesterday, information we already had. And lastly. I’d like to thank Baltimore City Sheriff’s Department in assisting with us as an independent law enforcement agency with police powers.
To the governor to this great state of Maryland, thank you for expediting the autopsy report which enabled us to do our job.
Last but certainly not least, to the youth of the city. I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment. Let’s insure we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause and as young people, our time is now."
Outrageous Fundraisers for Baltimore Cops Keep Getting Shut Down
As seen on The Kelly File
Sara Weigman-Camarote is the wife of one of the six Baltimore Police Department officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, and she has been attempting to set up fundraisers to help the "Baltimore 6" support their families and pay their legal costs.
Her first attempt at setting up a fundraiser on GoFundMe.com was shut down, apparently because the site doesn't help people who are charged with serious crimes.
"That's what they said. We made this one specifically for the families, so I don't know how the families are being charged for this, but that's what they told me," Weigman-Camarote said.
She added that her next attempt on IndieGoGo.com was also a "rough battle."
She explained that the fundraiser was put on a temporary freeze, and just a few hours ago, it was shut down with all donations being returned.
What are you going to do now? Megyn Kelly asked.
Weigman-Camarote revealed that she's teamed up with a retired Baltimore police officer who was inspired by the fundraisers being shut down.
"He changed his whole website to specifically be able to put up a campaign for any type of these causes, for cops and their families ... any person in distress who is part of the law enforcement family."
Megyn pointed out that even though they are police officers, they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Watch more from the "Kelly File" interview above.
Before all was said and dine, we took $800 and turned it into more than $25,000 for the officers
Our Brothers and Sisters in blue... Stand Down Orders and they still Stood Tall
Hogan says he never got a 'thank you' from Rawlings-Blake for 'saving' Baltimore during unrest
Gov. Larry Hogan took a swipe Thursday at outgoing Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, saying the mayor had not properly thanked him for "saving the city" during rioting and unrest last spring.
In his most detailed retelling to date of the events that followed Freddie Gray's death from injuries suffered in police custody, Hogan portrayed himself as a decisive leader for sending in the National Guard, saying rioters "all went scurrying home" at his show of force.
During remarks at the center-right American Action Forum in Washington, the Republican governor said he first called Rawlings-Blake last April offering help after an aide showed him footage of a burning police car.
He called again three hours later with two options: He would sign an executive order sending in the National Guard at her request, or he would sign one sending it in at his.
"I think it's better for you and better for me if we go with the first one," Hogan recalled telling the mayor. "But either way, we're ... taking over."
Hogan said Rawlings-Blake told him she needed more time, and when he refused, she asked for 15 minutes to think over her options.
"She called me back, and she said, 'Since you're holding a gun to my head, and since you're going to do it anyway, I guess I'll ask you to come in,'" Hogan said. "And then we came in, saved the city, and we never got a thank-you.
"All she did from that day until this day is criticize us and say we haven't done anything to help Baltimore City. It's very unfortunate. We're going to have a new mayor, though. Her career is over."
Rawlings-Blake did not seek re-election this year. State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh won the Democratic primary for mayor Tuesday, tantamount to a general election win in heavily Democratic Baltimore.
A spokesman for Rawlings-Blake declined to comment on Hogan's version of events.
"The mayor prefers to focus on governing the city rather than obsessing on perceived past slights or differences of opinion," Rawlings-Blake spokesman Howard Libit said in an email.
The tone of Hogan's comments stands in contrast to interviews he gave a year ago about how he and the mayor worked together. Then, he dismissed questions about friction between the two.
"Sometimes we agreed, and sometimes we didn't," Hogan said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun two weeks after the unrest. "But I think we worked together pretty well, and the result was pretty good. ... People kept trying to create more of a controversy, and I just wouldn't take the bait. I didn't want to criticize her, and I didn't think she deserved some of the criticism."
On Thursday, he volunteered criticism.
"I think there was a lot of political stuff going on in the city," Hogan said, telling the crowd he believed the mayor was on the phone with the White House and the Democratic National Committee discussing the political ramifications of the response to the riot.
Hogan said President Barack Obama called him in the hours between the eruption of violence and Hogan's sending in the Guard.
The governor, the second Republican elected for Maryland's top office in nearly a half-century, said his friend and political mentor Chris Christie, New Jersey's Republican governor, called him seconds after Hogan's nationally televised news conference concluded.
"He called my cellphone as I'm still on the stage," Hogan said, saying that Christie told him that this crisis would be Hogan's "defining moment" and suggested that he spend the next few days being as visible and supportive as possible on the streets of Baltimore. The governor said he told Christie that was already his plan.
"I hugged people who were crying and digging out the mess," Hogan said. "It was just instinct."
Hogan said that when he first called the mayor, she assured him that everything was under control. He recalled telling her that "it doesn't look like everything's under control. It looks like the city's on fire."
He said that the National Guard's "overwhelming presence had a chilling effect on the rioters. They all went scurrying home and didn't want to cause any more violence because we had an overwhelming display of force."
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll