The report, the culmination of a yearlong investigation into one of the country’s largest police forces, found that officers make a large number of stops — mostly in poor, black neighborhoods — with dubious justification and unlawfully arrest citizens when officers “did not like what those individuals said.”
“These violations have deeply eroded the relationship between the police and community it serves,” Vanita Gupta, the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said during a news conference alongside the city’s mayor and police commissioner.
The federal investigation was launched after the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained in the back of a police van. The death set off protests and the worst riots in decades.
The report represents a damning indictment of how the city’s police officers carry out the most fundamental of policing practices, including traffic stops and searches.
OK. If that is, indeed, the case, then let’s talk.
There was an issue here in a town in NC some years ago, and what they did was remove the arresting powers of the police department. The department was basically disbanded, and while they straightened everything out the county sheriff department took over. A new police chief was brought in and hiring began.
Let’s do this with Baltimore. Remove arresting powers, shut them down, and let the county take over for a very specific amount time. Get a new police chief in that time period. And start bringing in some new cops. How about doing some heavy recruitment in the areas of town where the people feel the most mistreated by the police? This could help get jobs to people who need it, it would put cops the people already know back in their neighborhoods (helping with trust issues), it would foster a little more pride in the city and neighborhood (which is lacking if they are willing to burn it down), and it would give them a fresh start.
It can be done. It has been done. And it might be just what they need to get things back in order. I’m not saying it would be easy to do, because it wouldn’t be. But it would be worth it in the end. Now you just need to stand up and try for the police jobs.