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To Protect and Serve - Baltimore Edition
Author: Raine    Date: 05/28/2015 17:59:41

It may have not made major headlines, but this past memorial day weekend pushed the City of Baltimore into the deadliest month for the city in 15 years.
The only month to surpass 35 homicides was the prior month, November 1999, when 36 homicides were recorded, according to police statistics since 1999. That year was also Baltimore's deadliest in the past 16 with 305 homicides, police figures show.
Oh Wait… as of today, Baltimore has seen 37 homicides.
An 8-year-old boy and another 31-year-old woman were shot in the head in Baltimore city Thursday morning.

Officers were called to the 100 block of Upmanor Rd for a report of a shooting around 8:19 a.m.
This all came on the heels of 6 Baltimore police officers being indicted by a grand jury for the Freddie Gray murder.

What is going on? Let us let Sean Hannity tell us:

A current Baltimore police officer who chose to hide his identity reacted on "Hannity" tonight, saying that the surge in violence is a "direct result" from the six officers who were indicted by a grand jury in the death of Freddie Gray.

"After the protests, it seems like the citizens would appreciate a lack of police presence, and that's exactly what they're getting," the officer said. "No proactive policing right now."

Sean Hannity asked the officer if other Baltimore cops are afraid to do their jobs.

"When you go out into the street, you trust that your command staff and those you work with will support you," the officer replied. "The tip of the spear needs the most assurance that your department, your citizens, your mayor and city council have your back."
So, basically, the citizens are just being told to go EFF themselves for protesting police violence. Residents are taking notice, and they are in fear.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Antoinette Perrine has barricaded her front door since her brother was killed three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore.

She already has iron bars outside her windows and added metal slabs on the inside to deflect the gunfire.
“I’m afraid to go outside,” said Perrine, 47. “It’s so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside. People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They’re nowhere.”
(snip)
Now West Baltimore residents worry they've been abandoned by the officers they once accused of harassing them. In recent weeks, some neighborhoods have become like the Wild West without a lawman around, residents said.

“Before it was over-policing. Now there’s no police,” said Donnail “Dreads” Lee, 34, who lives in the Gilmor Homes, the public housing complex where Gray, 25, was arrested.
“I haven’t seen the police since the riots,” Lee said. “People feel as though they can do things and get away with it. I see people walking with guns almost every single day, because they know the police aren't pulling them up like they used to.”


I wrote a blog on December 29 titled Blood Politics. I talked of how the NYC PBA was using the protesters and the deaths of 2 NYC Police officers as a way to play politics. I wrote then, and I will stand by this statement as I watch West Baltimore (once again) become a killing field due to bad or no policing.
The people protesting police violence and asking for for better policing are not the problem. They aren't anti-police, they want better policing. That the very idea of asking, even demanding it is more disturbing to the PBA than using a funeral to make a political statement is sad and disturbing. Police officers have a dangerous job, especially in cities and densely populated communities, The idea that they should not be asked to be accountable or asked to treat the people they are supposed to serve and protect a little better should not be a part of the fabric of our nation. The idea that the PBA is using this as a way to negotiate a contract is reprehensible. It's the thing that very few are talking about.
It appears as though, once again, a major city police department is holding it's citizens hostage by crime proxy.

They aren't anti-police, they want better policing. It appears that in Baltimore, in particular West Baltimore, they are not even given that choice. Once again, this must be said:
Given the dangers inherent to being a police officer—and the extent to which most cops are trying to do the best they can—it’s actually understandable that cops are a little angry with official and unofficial criticism. But they should know it comes with the territory. For all the leeway they receive, the police aren't an inviolable force; they’re part of a public trust, accountable to elected leaders and the people who choose them. And in the same way that police have a responsibility to protect and secure the law, citizens have a responsibility to hold improper conduct to account.
This all happens to come on the heels of a report from a professor from the University of Nebraska. He's a a criminologist who 'examines policy for the US Department of Justice'.
In an 11-page report, Samuel Walker, a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said the role of police union contracts has been ignored amid the nationwide debate and protests that erupted last fall over police and community relations.

Walker said "offensive provisions" in the union contract, a three-year pact expiring next year, violate "best practices" across the country and should be revised to boost professionalism in the Baltimore Police Department.
Right now Baltimore Police are violating the promise they made to the city they are supposed to protect and serve.

It should not be an all-or-nothing game. 37 lives are gone forever. We don't know many of their names because, quite honestly, they are nothing more than retribution and collateral damage from the police department as a response from citizens daring to say they want an end to police brutality.

How much money do want to bet that more than 90% of the dead are people of color? They way I see it, the message that the BPD is sending is people need to shut up and take it anyway they can get it, tough luck if people die. Protecting our own is more important than protecting the people.

It is absolutely horrific.

&
Raine

47 comments (Latest Comment: 05/28/2015 20:23:14 by Raine)
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