Baltimore crime scene (courtesy baltimoresun.com)

“As the number of shootings and homicides has surged in Baltimore, some police officers say they feel hesitant on the job under intense public scrutiny and in the wake of criminal charges against six officers in the Freddie Gray case,” baltimoresun.com reports. Now you could ascribe some of that reluctance to recalcitrance; the officers reckon they’ll be second-guessed by their superiors who are being second-guessed by the Department of Justice. And you’d be right. Although plenty of officers reckon their indicted co-workers are being railroaded in the Freddie Gray case, it’s not the homicide per se that’s causing their wariness. It’s the key question of probable cause . . .

Officers and legal experts said they are concerned about Mosby’s contention that Gray was falsely arrested. Mosby said that three officers failed to establish probable cause, as no crime had been committed. She said the knife Gray was carrying was not illegal under Maryland law, making the arrest “illegal.”

Former federal prosecutor Jason Weinstein, who held a leadership post in the Justice Department, said the remedy for failing to establish proper probable cause is that “a defendant goes free — not that an officer goes to jail.”

The result could have a “chilling effect” on officers, preventing them from making “good faith judgments” when making arrests, Weinstein said.

Jackson, the retired Baltimore police colonel, agreed.

“It’s very dangerous to say the intent is criminal if the officer is simply wrong about probable cause,” he said. “I don’t think the response to that should be a criminal indictment of the police officer. Cops make mistakes all the time with arrests about probable cause. They’re not lawyers. That’s why we have courts to determine if the probable cause was sufficient.”

Baltimore cops make mistakes “all the time” on probable cause? That sounds like probable cause to examine the BPD’s training and supervision. Still, point taken. The safest thing to do when someone in power’s judging your actions: don’t give them something to judge. Do nothing. Or at least nothing much.

“In 29 years, I’ve gone through some bad times, but I’ve never seen it this bad,” said Lt. Kenneth Butler, president of the Vanguard Justice Society, a group for black Baltimore police officers. Officers “feel as though the state’s attorney will hang them out to dry.”

Several officers said in interviews they are concerned crime could spike as officers are hesitant to do their jobs, and criminals sense opportunity. Butler, a shift commander in the Southern District, said his officers are expressing reluctance to go after crime.

“I’m hearing it from guys who were go-getters, who would go out here and get the guns and the bad guys and drugs. They’re hands-off now,” Butler said. “I’ve never seen so many dejected faces.

“Policing, as we once knew it, has changed.”

The question is, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

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134 Responses to Post-Freddie Gray Indictment Baltimore Cops: Demoralized and Hesitant?

  1. I hate to say it, but welcome to the workforce most people have been in for the last 20 years. Every decision incision make is second guessed by my boss, and their boss, and so on down the line. I haven’t made a decision in years that I haven’t had to defend to some extent.

    • As loathe as I am to defend the cops, I’m guessing you’ve never had to worry about being incarcerated over a mistake at work. I do agree though, a month of paid vacation is hardly appropriate punishment when a cop’s mistake costs someone their life.

      • “As loathe as I am to defend the cops, I’m guessing you’ve never had to worry about being incarcerated over a mistake at work.”

        It has happened to FAA certificated aircraft mechanics.

        • I have worked as an aircraft mechanic as well and “duh, I didn’t know the rules, but at least I got home safe” doesn’t cut it there.

        • And I have flown a lot of aircraft, and I am glad of that! I’ve also helped send a couple of mechanics to jail, although not for the charge I thought appropriate, which was sabotage (this was military).

        • Yep same for us pro pilots, especially in 121 or 135. A simple mistake in front of the wrong FAA douchebag and it can be all over for your career not to mention, as you said, the legal liability.

          Too bad coppers. Welcome to the world we live in.

      • And the way the man died doesn’t lend itself to a simple slap on the wrist for not establishing probable cause.

        • I read all the charging documents and there is no allegation that any of the officers assaulted Gray. The ENTIRE case is built upon the fact that he was not buckled in and was not given immediate medical assistance. What the evidence shows is that he was banging around in the van and hit his head on something and broke his neck. Maybe there is some civil negligence here, but nothing close to murder. So the fact that he died, in the absence of some evidence that the officers actually assaulted him, is not evidence alone to justify these charges.

      • My job doesn’t deprive people of their natural, civil, and constitutional rights or their lives.

      • No, but I do have to worry about being incarcerated simply by driving a short stretch of a common highway in Virginia when there’s a spent .22LR case rattling on the floor that I’m unaware of.

  2. Officers “feel as though the state’s attorney will hang them out to dry.”

    Wonder why they’d think that.

    • It’s not as though the mayor, governor, attorney general & president of the United States have already presumed their guilt….oh wait….

        • Actually, you seemed to have missed the entire story. So far, the only thing that has been indicated is that he hit his head against a latch on the inside of the paddy wagon. Whether he did it to himself or it was the result of not being seatbelted during a rough ride is the major question. No one has claimed or shown footage of the 6 officers ever beating him.

        • That’s quite the door latch, able to give him a head wound, break his neck and sever his spine all in one go! I think I even heard something about a crushed larynx? Hope there’s a recall out for those door handles!

        • @sid–Died in police custody is what most of us citizens have a problem with. Freddie Gray may have been a two-page felon but he still has a right to survive being arrested. He was a drug dealer and probably one of the nefarious characters that some of us carry defensive weapons for. To those of you who think because he was a drug dealer that he deserved to be shot, just remember this most successful drug dealers have the good sense not to use the product unlike the weaker willed junkies who can’t control themselves.
          Cops use too much force because sometimes it is a recruiting flaw in applicants for a business where they can legally murder a fellow citizen with few repercussions unless it is filmed. The criminal was able to run until his encounter with police and then somehow he died in the back of a paddy wagon. That is what is not acceptable to people of all walks of life.

        • No, Sid, they didn’t. Not until they’ve had their day in court, at least. Maybe you should retake a high school civics class at your local community college for a refresher on how the justice system in the US is supposed to work.

        • I would urge you all the read the criminal complaints and sworn affidavits in the charging documents. The prosecutor does not even allege the officers assaulted him in any way. I think it is actually a bolt that was sticking out of the van, but it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine someone violently thrashing around in a van could puncture their spinal cord at the base of the skull. The only accusations against the police are they failed to buckle him, and failed to get him medical attention (both if which can be defended). I won’t get into the legal technicalities of proving proximate cause, but I don’t see how the prosecutor gets anything close to what she has charged. There may be some civil negligence, but if he did this to himself that may be difficult to prove as well. The best case is the one the officers filed against the prosecutor for false arrest and imprisonment. This is Duke LaCrosse all over again.

        • A young black male died somehow in questionable police custody.

          Someone must hang for that.

          Regardless of evidence or reason.

          Meanwhile the genius comic Chris Rock comes out and claims he’s never heard of a white kid being shot by the police. And Reverends Sharpless and Jackwagon stoke the flames.

    • Officers “feel as though the state’s attorney will hang them out to dry.”

      I certainly hope so!! I know damn well they would hang ME out to dry, why should they be some kind of special snowflake? That statement *really* sounds like serious investigation is warranted, gosh, if I commit a crime I might be prosecuted! I guess I should start obeying the law!

      • When you have gone so long without having to shoulder a burden of consequences, it feels extra heavy when you find yourself suddenly under it once more. All this angst on the part of officers is nothing more than the soreness of getting reacquainted with the weight of responsibility that comes from their position and authority. If they can’t handle that, they should look for other, less burdensome, work.

  3. What Dis Thunder said; the workplace in a lot of fields is like that now; micro-management, daily “stand-ups,” and “scrum” stuff, endless meetings about meetings, etc. While everyone walks on thin ice as to what they say and think and write hourly, terrified of offending somebody and getting fired immediately or sued. It’s sick.

    Baltimore’s woes are a harbinger of Things to Come, i.e., failed Murkan cities, much like Mexico is a failed state, and the line between cops, ordinary Mundanes and criminal scum becomes ever more blurred.

  4. What I’ve learned from left-wing media types, police are violent racists, law abiding citizens that own firearms are violent racist deviants, inner city gangsters are misunderstood victims. Got it.

    • Be careful. The biggest issue I have with the perception that you describe is that often times I’ve been treated as an “inner-city gangster” if a cop doesn’t like the way I look. The unfair expectation that ‘cops are evil’ comes from somewhere.

    • Just like how people who put down their beer, stop watching football, and join the Neighborhood Watch are racist Nazis looking to murder innocent teenagers because they don’t like the color of their skin.

      • You guys ain’t goin’ far enough yet; the Left in this country wants us to hate ourselves for not only our white “privilege” but now also our “straight” privilege, if those attributes do in fact apply to most of us here on this board. So imagine someone who’s straight, white, married, Christian, and a veteran. Imagine the self-loathing and self-hate someone like that ought to feel with all those “privileges.” I should kill myself right now.

        • David-killing yourself isn’t a very Christianly thing to do. The left is uniting American’s who are smart enough to see that America would head towards European social decay when Christian whites become a minority in America. The evil shyster Jews and the slave owning, land stealing Christian whites must pay more than the trillions they already have on a failed and pathetic attempt of resolving acts not unique in the history of forming new civilizations. The Left is full of white guilters who have forgotten that in America’s past those who sided with the tyrannical powers of England were not treated to kindly. Thankfully we law abiding Americans know that a war in America would make WW2 look like a rated G film, but finally Mexico and Canada would get their borders flooded for once by an influx of illegal invaders consisting of liberals and statist republicans, or refugees.

          If those last traits you listed are comprise you, don’t you know that makes you worse than ISIS, in the eyes of the government you once pulled a trigger for. Thank you for having honor and courage once in your life, and hopefully it stayed after your service.

        • Just kidding there, I’d hoped peeps would know. I ain’t about to do myself to gladden the cold black hearts of the neo-Marxist scumbags who denigrate my people and me at every possible turn nowadays. I’ll gladden my own heart and take them out first.

  5. MD resident here…
    Da Murder Biz (TM) was up 22% over last year befo the riots, its up about 26% after the riots – in other words, not much change. Baltimore was on track for the worst year since 2007 even before the riots. Incidentally, the presence of the National Guard did not slow Da Murder Biz (TM) at all..

    I am sure that the BPD is blaming Da Murder Biz (TM) on the FG indictment, the lack of testicular fortitude in city hall, or the phases of the moon.

    The reality is that the civilians are disarmed and Gangs Roolz Da City (TM). They even came out for a snap with the local politicians. Oh, snap! Nothing says don’t snitch like a picture of the bloods and crips with the city councilmen.

    Thanks to the firearms laws passed in 2013, I expect that Da Murder Biz (TM) will continue to be a growth industry. My advice: Stay out of the city, and in the burbs be sure to pay your heroin bill on time.

    One of these days, Maryland will become a shall issue state, and the gangsters will receive a rude leaden epiphany. Until then…

    • That appears to sum it up nicely.

      Question: how safe is the St. Michaels/Eastern Shore area, say, during August?

      • St. Michaels/Eastern Shore area is nice. However, beware of MD’s extremely strict handgun transport policy.

        • Thank you.

          I was aware of MD’s firearms laws, etc., and this shouldn’t be a problem.

    • “They even came out for a snap with the local politicians. Oh, snap! Nothing says don’t snitch like a picture of the bloods and crips with the city councilmen.”

      The corruption of the Baltimore political class is now complete. While Detroit, against all predictions, has struggled to right itself, Davidx is right about Baltimore being the first major American city to sink to a level of corruption like that in most of Mexico. Because they are corrupt, Baltimore’s politicians cannot “reform” the BPD. That said,, we shouldn’t forget that the BPD has worked under successive administrations that are every bit as corrupt as the current one and this means it knows where all the dead bodies are (literally) buried. It’s likely that the BPD in one way or another will simply be asked to join the club. If that happens then the politicians, the cops, and the criminals will effectively be on the same side. When you have that kind of nexus of corruption you get modern day Mexico. When that happens, they win and we lose.

      • Then we’ll have to hear more and more about how they need taxpayer money from Texas and California, etc, in order to solve these long-term problems which are so mysterious, meanwhile providing lots of free stuff to be distributed by, for, and among the corrupt and the criminal. Like Detroit!

  6. A false arrest is the forced denial of an innocent person’s liberty. Under a society ruled by liberty and justice, that is criminal behavior. It is assault and battery. It is inherently violent. You do not get to kidnap someone and then say, “Oops, sorry, I made a mistake,” without then accepting the just and lawful consequences for violating the law and for harming another person. Police should not get a free pass to operate with impunity outside of the law. Officers of the law are *under the law*.

    If officers of the law are so ignorant of the very thing they have a duty to uphold, first and foremost the Constitution, they are at best incompetent and unsuited to the work.

    To put another turn on it, if the officers are so confident that the people they are arresting and going after are actually engaging in the criminal behavior for which they are being arrested, then they should have no problems. If the police expecting be able to operate outside of the law all of the time and abuse people without it being treated equally to any other normal citizen operating outside of the law doesn’t prove that cops expect a “thin blue line” to exist, I don’t know what does.

    Either learn how to do your job (i.e. — uphold the rights and liberty of a free people), or find another profession. You don’t get to arrest someone just because. False arrest is criminal assault and battery.

    • NICE!!

      Also, last line of the article? Good for cops or citizens? The two sides might have different opinions on the outcome. The cops have to follow the rules and get punished when they don’t. I think that’s great. The cops probably think their a tied.

      On the flip side, cops don’t do their job and crime gets worse? Maybe?

      • “On the flip side, cops don’t do their job and crime gets worse? Maybe?”

        You mean If they don’t assault beat and shoot their way into the hearts and minds of citizens crime will get worse?

    • Significant contributing factor: too many laws based upon something other than considerations of right and wrong. This makes it very difficult to recognize if something is illegal or not.
      A problem for the cops. A problem for other citizens as well!

    • “False arrest is criminal assault and battery.”

      Depends – see Brinegar v. U.S. and Heien v. North Carolina. The Heien case is still pretty new, but I had a d-bag sue me over an arrest I made, and I watched him get a smack down in court because of Brinegar.

      People make mistakes in their job because that’s what human beings do. When you have someone that is required to make important decisions in milliseconds, sometimes the decisions will be wrong and sometimes the results will suck. That’s how life works. Once you put on your big-boy pants you’ll probably figure that out.

      I encourage the cops in Baltimore to stand by while the city burns. The people get the government they vote for, and no cop in Baltimore has any business getting in their way. If the voters want to build themselves the sister city of Mogadishu, more power to them. If I was there, I wouldn’t lift a finger – after all, I would still be getting paid either way. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t make a single arrest without a judge or magistrate signing an arrest warrant. Let them deal with it. Otherwise, the citizens can kiss my a**.

      • +1

        Former LE here; that was well said, and if in the same position, would feel the same exact way.

        They’re all panting for Mogadishu, evidently, with air-dropped goodies, distributed by the authorized warlords. And for the rest of us to feel ugly and guilty and keep handing them out. They’ll keep pushing and pushing and eventually fan out to the ‘burbs and by that time ordinary schmuck Mundanes will have figured it out and be tooled up and ready to go. It won’t be pretty.

      • Wow, way to represent. It’s people like you who should have zero authority to take other people’s rights away.

        • That’s the result of you and people like you yelling “muh rights!” for the last 40 years at cops who are just trying to do their jobs. They don’t care anymore. You don’t want to deal with the mistakes that are inherent to effective police work, then fine. There won’t be any police work going on. Cops will stand by and let you and those like you have what you want. Enjoy.

        • No police work going on, Deuce? Where do I sign up to get to this wonderful utopia?

          I do apologize that people concerned for their natural rights get in the way of your desire for an unobstructed power trip at their expense. It’s a little late to join Nazi Germany, but I’m sure China and Russia are probably looking for some jackbooted thugs if you’re interested.

          Funny, back in the day, people didn’t need to scream about their rights. The police just respected them by default. Then people like you happened.

        • That’s the result of you and people like you yelling “muh rights!” for the last 40 years at cops who are just trying to do their jobs.

          Just trying to do their jobs? Really? THAT’S the defense you’re going with? Seriously, read up on some history. I’ll help you: Nuremberg Trials.

      • @Officer–“People make mistakes in their job because that’s what human beings do.” –Nobody is perfect but in a job requiring deadly force and power over others your mistakes should be limited to grammatical errors in reports, not flinching and killing somebody out of cowardice.

        “When you have someone that is required to make important decisions in milliseconds, sometimes the decisions will be wrong and sometimes the results will suck.” If you can’t make fast on the move decisions you are a disservice to the profession. A traffic cop smoked to jihadi terrosits and he was able to use critical thinking under fire from legitimate threats.

        “That’s how life works. Once you put on your big-boy pants you’ll probably figure that out.” You are talking this callously about a mistake that could take a fellow citizens life. Indifferent Badged killers like you are why .45acp beats the nine millimeter in caliber decisions. You sir are a disgrace, and you would have to hope that your victim from a shit happens on the job mistake does not a have vengeful family member, friend, or Brother that probably lives in your community.

        The North Carolina case says cops can now finally be ignorant of the law in the eyes of the court, which was formerly a job requirement, I assumed.
        A case you should freshen up on is North Carolina vs. Mobly, which deals with the assault and battery or unlawful arrest and how citizens have the right to use deadly force to prevent the illegal detention from a power tripping police officer or from a cop that is pointing my own loaded weapon at me because you are too stupid to know how a tool of your profession is used.

      • “People make mistakes in their job because that’s what human beings do. When you have someone that is required to make important decisions in milliseconds, sometimes the decisions will be wrong and sometimes the results will suck. That’s how life works.”

        Exclusions and exceptions for me, But not for thee…and Cops wonder why they are lacking support.

      • Officer, that sounds exactly like the attitude regularly criticized here and elsewhere, and like you think pretty highly of yourself. Let me give you a clue how a legitimate government would deal with your sorry ass. After about 10 days of your cutesy little “vacation”, the city council would fire every last one of you for cause, and put the reason in every reference they send out, and then start interviewing for *honest* officers. You are setting yourself up as a power unto yourself not subject to laws, orders, supervision, totally rogue and proud of it. The correct response to what you complain about is “I quit”, without the added “but you have to pay me anyway”.

    • I’ve read a lot of articles about how the Balt cops made mass arrests throwing people in jail and then have them cool their heels for 1-2 days before being able to be bailed. They did this often enough to be successfully sued for millions over multiple and repeated cases. I have no sympathy for the jack boots.

    • I agree…I see you have a regular site. Very interesting reading. But I don’t ever use my real name except on FB. Lots of crazies (and gubmint) read TTAG…THIS IS FOR AARON HSU

    • It is not clear that it was a false arrest. We haven’t seen the knife. The other factor is that Gray was on probation and he apparently ran from the police which gives them probable cause to bring him down to the station.

      Unlike the the Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin incidents we have insufficient information to make any rational comment. Like many people on both sides of the issue you are missing an essential point. If Gray died because of negligent or deliberate actions by the police they committed a crime even if they have real time video of Gray sticking a knife in someone’s chest.

      • The news stories I have seen held that he was arrested, tied up hand and foot, and driven around for a while before anybody ever found the knife, claiming later that the arrest was *because* of the knife is a bit of a stretch. And I am still waiting for the revelation that he was not alone inside that wagon. I think that is pretty obvious, as is the fact that they stopped several times, someone riding along in order to beat him to death is not a great leap. Otherwise, his injuries seem rather magical, don’t they?

        • “The news stories that you read” are not evidence in this case any more accurate than they were in the Martin and Brown cases.

    • Probable cause or not? This is often very difficult to determine. One can get a law degree in three years of full time study, prepare for and pass a bar exam, practice law for several years, and STILL find it difficult to determine whether an arrest is supported by sufficient probable cause. It often takes a few hours at the law library reviewing the latest case law. Police officers get a few weeks of police academy training. Hopefully police always make a good faith effort to only make justified arrests, but they aren’t judges or lawyers.

      • While I mostly agree, it misses the mark with respect to the police. If probable cause is not absolutely crystal clear, they need to positively ID the subject and then seek a damn WARRANT! I can guarantee that even a corrupt judge is not going to issue a warrant for “he made eye contact and then ran.” In which case, no one ever cared about the knife, and he is still alive today. In other places, he didn’t get shot in the back for a burned out taillight. They can maintain that thin blue line all they want, but it is clear we have a lot of cops completely out of control, and we have for decades. They are going to have to learn about cameras. In a few years, I’ll bet, the camera pointed at you will be on the air RIGHT THEN, you cannot escape being filmed when you commit your crimes, and you will be prosecuted.

    • Probable cause is exactly that. Probable. In other words, the officer has to have a reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed. This is also probable at the time, not later on according to close inspection in the safety of the police station or a judges chambers.

      Despite the caw of the prosecutor to calm the mob, the officers had cause. Possessing a spring assisted knife is illegal under Baltimore law. Gray was arrested and charged with possession of a spring assisted knife in Baltimore. It means nothing that the knife was legal under state law. I don’t believe it should be illegal, to possess a spring assist or switch blade knife, but it is. Also, this case isn’t about what we think could have happened to Gray, it’s about what can be proven. The fact of the matter is that the charges for murder 2 by the van driver and illegal arrest against the other officers are BS charges and should cost the prosecutor her job at a minimum. It would have been better to charge for criminally negligent manslaughter. Even then this would be difficult to prove with the evidence presented this far.

  7. Well, Seattle pd has been hands off for a while now due to an ever more liberal city government (open socialist on the city council). Local news reports have the crime rate up by as much as 30%, with the caution that since police are intentionally declining to document reported crimes to avoid the appearance of racism. So, nobody really knows how bad it is.

    • The cop union always supported and endorsed the liberal leftist pols because they got plenty of salary and pension kickbacks from those same pols. This whole mess is Blue(police) on Blue(pols) infighting and I’m LOVIN IT.

      • I don’t know how it is in other big cities, and I don’t actually work for SPD myself, so all I know is from talking to some of their guys. What I hear, though, is that the union leadership there has hopes of running for office, and changed their rules so only a few selected members are allowed to run for leadership positions. They also have refused to listen to the rank and file when opinions or concerns are presented that interfere with the leadership selling out politically.

        I don’t expect or ask for any sympathy on behalf of the SPD guys, though. I think that kind of nonsense is to be expected in a big city, and it’s the reason I didn’t even think about applying there- even though it would mean about a 25% raise. My point is that it’s a vicious circle that only hurts the public.

        Although, you could argue that they deserve it too, for not voting the whole mess out.

  8. Gray died in police custody while being transported to central booking, so the cops owed him a duty of care. Whatever the cops did or didn’t do, they certainly didn’t protect Gray, either from the cops or from himself. OTOH, the “demonstrations” were acts of pure thuggery, and the punks took advantage of a bad situation to do some early Mothers Day shopping. They are scum.

    So I don’t have a dog in this fight. Still, I wouldn’t be upset if Baltimore burned itself down. Really, I wouldn’t. And I won’t blame the cops if they stand around and watch.

    • Honestly, the best thing that could happen is if the cops took a few months off. Then people would figure out how hard it is to protect themselves, and how little the cops accomplished. The cops for the most try really hard but they are just sticking their fingers in a decrepit dam. FG himself was out on parole, only did 3 years of a 10 yr sentence. Baltimore does have post-secondary trade schools, they are called jails.

      • I agree, paid vacation only if they leave town for the duration. Then green light the population to conceal carry and I lay odds, crime is reduced by 80 percent.

        A police force is nothing more than roving tax assessors out to feed the Triad (legislators, police, & prosecutors). Due to cut backs in funding, we have areas where citizens patrol and crime went to zero.

        • Oh, If the general public had the same power and privileges of the LEOs, crime would plummet. Even if just a fraction carried heat, the amount of law enforcement presence would be a quantum leap over the police force that exists now.

        • A police force is nothing more than roving tax assessors out to feed the Triad. They feed and enforce much more than that. Government is all force and fraud; every last molecule of it. There is nothing voluntary about government, it is all at the point of a gun barrel. Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
          George Washington- maybe.

        • @Indiana:

          It’s good to see a critic of the police understand that contrary to the faux Libertarian narrative that police are no different that the average citizen when it come to the ability to act under the law.

          Why would you think that a random group of citizens would be any better at honoring the rights of the accused than the police? If private citizens could go around enforcing the law they would not have to follow the Bill of Rights since they would not be agents of the government. Now if you arguing that citizens by virtue of being the Militia would be bound to follow criminal procedure you might have a good idea. I also suspect that using the Militia to enforce the civil peace will be about as successful as their use in the nation’s wars.

        • Why would you think that a random group of citizens would be any better at honoring the rights of the accused than the police?

          You’re right, a random group of citizens wouldn’t have the force of government to get away with violations.

        • Which means your local vigilante force could stop and frisk you, invade your house, detain you without charges, make you testify against yourself and convict you without trail. How great is that?

        • Isn’t what everyone is discussing here called “Constitutional carry”? If the cops are on break, why would anyone leave the house without at least a handgun? And pardon me if I don’t expect my local vigilante force to bother me while my AR is slung over my shoulder. At least not twice.

        • Which means your local vigilante force could stop and frisk you, invade your house, detain you without charges, make you testify against yourself and convict you without trail. How great is that?

          How is that any difference then what is happening already?

          Stop and frisk happened with force of government.
          Warrantless, no-knocks already happens.
          Detaining without charges already happens.
          Lying to people to get them to say things already happens.
          People with arrest records but no convictions are already treated as if they were convicted.

        • There are warrantless searches and no knock raids but there are no warrantless no-knock raids at least those that will hold up in court. All things you mention are the kinds of things that the courts toss out at discovery or at the trial. Your local vigilante group is not bound by those technicalities nor, if history is to be observed, does “accused” rarely ever make it to court to adjudicate such technicalities.

      • Turning jails into actual trade schools wouldn’t be a bad idea. If Baltimore jails are anything like the ones here, they’re a lot like going off to a summer camp, except you have to stay indoors. There are TV, board games, card games, books to read, and many repeat customers look on it as a vacation from having to take any responsibility at all.

        I’d volunteer to teach a class at the jail, if it would help change the atmosphere from a big social event to requiring a degree of responsibility. No “if you feel like it” attendance, either — you’re in there, you (theoretically) owe a debt to society, so you have to be learning SOMETHING useful on the outside.

        • .The rate of recidivism is too high for training to be effective. The training is lost to the system once they get out.

      • @LarryinTX

        ” And pardon me if I don’t expect my local vigilante force to bother me while my AR is slung over my shoulder. At least not twice.”

        Talking about Baltimore citizens’ defense groups? You’re right; if they’re in a good mood, they’re just get five guys on with with AK’s and yell “STOI, SUKA!” If they’re in a bad mood, they’ll just kill you and let god sort you out.

  9. Next week these same libturds that have been screaming “F*** THA PO-LEECE” Will be screaming “Only the police should have guns!!!”

    • There’s no inconsistency here if you realize that 1) no one but police has guns and 2) no police at all means 3) no guns, and that that is the goal. It’d be like making gun ownership legal only for unicorns.

  10. From Heien v North Carolina:
    “Because Darisse’s mistake of law was reasonable, there was rea- sonable suspicion justifying the stop under the Fourth Amendment. Pp. 4–13.
    (a) The Fourth Amendment requires government officials to act reasonably, not perfectly, and gives those officials “fair leeway for enforcing the law,” Brinegar v. United States, 338 U. S. 160, 176. Searches and seizures based on mistakes of fact may be reasonable. See, e.g., Illinois v. Rodriguez, 497 U. S. 177, 183–186. The limiting factor is that “the mistakes must be those of reasonable men.” Brinegar, supra, at 176. Mistakes of law are no less compatible with the concept of reasonable suspicion, which arises from an understanding of both the facts and the relevant law. Whether an officer is reasonably mistaken about the one or the other, the result is the same: the facts are outside the scope of the law. And neither the Fourth Amendment’s text nor this Court’s precedents offer any reason why that result should not be acceptable when reached by a reasonable mistake of law.”

    Therefore: the police should be protected based on this ruling (that is less than a year old) assuming that they felt there was a law being broken. Any questions?

    • Baltimore cops made a mistake in arresting FG. Mistakes can happen and should be put right. But FG died in police custody. That goes beyond “oops”.

      And I usually side with the cops.

      • The arrest will be determined to be fine. Police arrest for those knives in MD and prosecutors are normally fine with it. In Baltimore there is a local law covering it as well.

        Now, what happened after that might be a different story…

  11. “I’m hearing it from guys who were go-getters, who would go out here and get the guns and the bad guys and drugs. They’re hands-off now,” If the “bad guys” are just selling and taking drugs and have some guns to help control their sales territory, then it really is not a big deal. I think we should just legalize their pharmaceutical aspirations.

    • If drugs were legal, and I mean really legal, not just decriminalized, then low-level street pushers would be out of business. Instead, drugs would be sold by major corporations, just like alcohol and tobacco are. And no matter how heated the competition might get, Alan Clark, Chief Executive of SABMiller, #2 beer producer in the world, isn’t going order someone to gun down Carlos Brito, Chief Executive of ABInBev, the #1.

      Completely legal, above board drug markets would be dominated by guys with Wharton degrees, and not cartel bosses.

      • There was a guy who did a study for the government of Singapore about legalizing drugs. He concluded that if made totally legal, large corporations should be barred from participating, that all operations should be limited to family businesses, as in family owned and operated with at least half the employees being family. I don’t remember the details, just being impressed at how thorough he was at covering the matter. FWIW, he included first cousins in his definition of family.

        That’s a legalization program I could get behind.

        • Interesting concept! Especially given that, the last time I was in Singapore, dealing drugs was a death penalty offense, and they did, in fact, execute a couple of Australians for dealing 20-odd years ago. Attitudes must be a-changing there, too.

        • Interesting how Libertarianism seems to support lots of restriction when it comes to the drug trade.

    • thug violencein bloodymore was always bad – even before the “war on drugs” was put into high gear.

      i think there are good arguments for stopping the war on drugs, but bloodymore will still be a shiite-hole.

  12. F Baltimore police boo hooin, how they feel chucked under the bus. All the hard work chasing baddies, roughing them up, refusing medical treatment, cracking spine’s, and collecting overtime.

    NOT ONE OF YOU BLUE Uniform F@@ks stepped forward and did your job. Not one you spineless, sniveling bastards had the guts to tell the mayor to FO and restore order.

    • And what, exactly, would restoring order consist of? If there’s a thousand people in an angry mob, spread over several blocks burning, looting, and throwing rocks at police, chances are there are ten thousand more in the same area who are not quite as angry, but still wouldn’t mind seeing at least a few cops go to the hospital or worse.

      Most cops aren’t trained or equipped for riot control. The shields and helmets make it less dangerous to stand there and take a brick to the head, but they sometimes still get hurt. I won’t waste time talking about whether or not taking a brick to the head should be considered part of the job. So, lets say you have five hundred riot cops on, and five hundred more regular beat cops on, and every single one of them decides to disobey what were almost certainly direct and lawful orders, however unwise, to give the rioters space to do their thing.

      The riot cops move into the crowd, and start arresting people. I would argue that people in groups, especially large angry groups, surrender some of their powers of reason and judgement to the dynamics of the mob. So, some of them fight. Probably more than a few, with the courage of having a thousand people behind them. The riot cops aren’t about to let themselves be pushed back, after all, we’re restoring order. So they end up winning the fights, with the help of the beat cops rushing in behind the shield wall and teaming up to cuff whoever needs it.

      This will inevitably look ugly. Even in the best circumstances, even when the suspect doesn’t get hurt, three or four cops who aren’t ju-jutsu masters subduing one person who is bent on fighting and hurting them rather than running away isn’t pretty. The angry mob will see this, and get even angrier. Bad enough whatever martyr they’re rioting for, made up Michael Brown or legitimate Akai Gurley, now they’re seeing not just one of their own beaten in front of their eyes, but a whole bunch.

      Here is where it gets into real speculation, everything before, I believe to be a completely reasonable assumption. This is the worst case, that I still think could easily happen.

      The mob goes from angry to enraged. They start screaming about what they’re seeing, and over the course of several minutes to an hour, thousands more angry people join them. Say we’re talking five thousand now, against a thousand cops. But wait, if you’ve arrested a hundred people out of the original thousand, you may need a hundred of the beat cops to watch them. Can’t just cuff them to chain link fences or signposts, and come back tomorrow. If the fight was really bad, you may have fifty cops injured, too. Maybe worse.

      The mob surges forward, five thousand against somewhere between eight and nine hundred cops. They break the line. The cops are either fighting individually or in small groups now, and they’re getting swamped. How many cops do you think will refrain from using deadly force at this point? All it takes is one or two to start shooting, and everyone may well think they’re taking fire. With people packed in so close, a good number of the bullets will actually hit something. Maybe someone who deserved it, maybe not. Maybe they hit another cop- regardless of which category you think the cop falls into, unless it’s fatal, it will probably get that cop to start shooting.

      So now, you have easily a hundred dead or wounded rioters, who knows how many dead cops, and the cops who aren’t dead are probably exhausted. Does this stop the rioting, or will it look so bad that the next night, the whole city burns down?

      And that’s not even considering the problem of what to do with the probably several hundred people who get arrested, with probably nowhere near enough space for them in the jails, do you just release them when the court either drops their cases, or they can’t be processed in the 48 hours required? What about the hundreds of people needing medical attention, is there enough space in the hospital? Do you have a hospital set aside for the injured cops, so another riot doesn’t start right there in the ICU?

      I don’t have a good answer to any of this. I suspect there isn’t one. If you can figure a way out that doesn’t involve not sparking the riot in the first place, I’d love to hear it.

      • That was a longer rant than I thought it would be, and I’m not sure how people will take it. The short version is that once a riot starts, for cops to go in and start breaking heads to stop it will almost certainly do more harm than good, and probably kill a bunch of the rioters.

        As much as I hate to let the mob run wild, I think it is better than the police declaring victory over a large pile of dead Americans.

        • If I, my business, and my family are in the path of that mob, break out a few more cases of 00-buck and let’er rip. I see no cause to make any decisions at all. Someone threw a brick at you? See to it that he never does that again. Most likely the guy beside him, splattered with his brains, will decide he’s had enough fun, too! You ask about the next day? Announce that your officers will not be making any arrests, and the hospitals are closed until further notice. Include in the announcement that as soon as the riots cease the protests can resume, but for now anyone out of line will be summarily shot dead.

          I know, that violates a lot of about everything, but so does turning over an entire city to looters and arsonists. If surrendering is the best answer cops can come up with, fire them all and let the citizens decide who and when to shoot.

        • +1

          If the costumed government drones can’t or won’t do the job, and many of them will honestly tell us so nowadays, then indeed, let it rip. There are tens of millions of us out here who won’t lie down for the steamrollers anymore. Let alone a howling murderous mob.

        • Good posts, Hasdrubal. I hope everyone reading this thread takes the time to read your posts. Social psychology refers to the phenomenon you’re describing as a “contagion effect” where people find themselves doing things, becoming violent against police is entirely a possibility, they wouldn’t normally do. Once this happens on a collective scale, things spin completely out of control and casualties and property damage sharply escalate. In Ferguson and now in Baltimore we saw activists showing up. They’d read these same studies of collective behavior and were working hard to produce exactly the result you describe. Professional agitators know perfectly well that if they can induce a crowd to reach this kind of violent critical mass, they’ll overwhelm a police presence and, short of starting to shoot people, the resulting choices are very limited.

          With all this happening, it isn’t at all surprising that America is arming itself. Whenever I visit my favorite gun shop I’m always impressed by the numbers of regular folks buying their first ever weapons. With average Americans now looking to their own defense. I have to wonder just what this means for our future? In particular, I have to wonder what this means for the role of the police? In Baltimore I’m sure there was a point where business and property owners had to question just who’s side their local government and, hence, their police was on.

      • Better solution: Just open fire into the rioters. If you go to protest but you stay when it turns into a riot, you aren’t a good person. And as luck would have it, such vermin only understand force. Kill a few of them and maybe the rest will realize that animals get put down accordingly.

    • “Not one you spineless, sniveling bastards had the guts to tell the mayor to FO and restore order.”

      So… you want the police to take command over the politically elected leaders? Interesting.

      • They are one in the same as far as the courts are concerned,prosecutors and judges, ( Elected offices ) and police are cut from the same corrupt bolt of cloth.

  13. Falsely arrested or not, among other injuries has larynx was crushed. No doubt he did that himself in an attempt to get the nice officers in trouble.

    Bad cops are bad people – doubly so because they make things much harder for so very many good joes doing a good job – and bad things should happen to them.

    Death to the Blue Wall.

    • This blog is the only place I’ve heard anything about his larynx, which is not to say it isn’t correct, the whole city govt is working hard to tell nobody anything, which is a great way to inspire riots. It does not take weeks to perform an autopsy, I’d like to hear the results! As it is, from what I’ve heard already, my estimate is that either he was removed from the wagon and beaten to death, or someone joined him in the wagon and beat him to death, most likely the latter. The idea that he broke his own spine is stupid enough, if somebody insists he also crushed his own larynx, the city is coming down, no matter what anyone does. Those “rioters” will be armed.

  14. Anti gun town. Oh Well. No Pro active Po Po now. Just show up with the chalk boys. Go home to your family.

    • The only thing they were proactive on was hassling people for driving violations to meet their quotas.

      • There is surefire way to avoid helping the police make their ticket quotas — follow traffic laws.

        • There’s a good video on that on YouTube. A long-time traffic cop says he can ticket anyone if he follows long enough, for two reasons: first, no one is a perfect driver who always follows every little law; second, the fact of a cop in the rearview makes people nervous and that brings on mistakes.

          Since watching that, I’ve developed the habit of finding a reason to pull over and let a cop go by if he’s behind me more than a few blocks — pretending to take a phone call is always a good one.

        • Any cop who did that would fall behind his fellow officers who just sat a waited for someone to come by. Just because the cop said doesn’t mean he does. it.

  15. “Several officers said in interviews they are concerned crime could spike as officers are hesitant to do their jobs, and criminals sense opportunity.”

    It’s Baltimore. Is it even *possible* for crime to increase there? The city’s criminals were already working heavy overtime before any of this went down. They gotta sleep sometime.

  16. Heh. Loath as I am to talk about it, I actually was charged with a felony as a result of my job. When it turned out I was telling the truth, that charge was quietly dropped.
    Still comes up once in a while when I file NFA paperwork. It’s a good reminder that your only worth what your job will fire you over.

  17. If ignorance of the law is not ok for citizens then it should not be ok for law enforcement officers who’s PAID job it is to know it. You have the extreme power to deprive someone of their life, freedom and property. We all have bosses, just because yours might be an arrogant white shirt, or a over zealous politician doesn’t make it forgiveable for screwing Joe-citizen.

    • Exactly.

      My favorite high school English teacher had a good idea on this topic, years ago: legislators shouldn’t be allowed to pass more laws than cops can memorize. Cops would be tested annually, and any law that more than ten percent of the cops got wrong would be voided.

  18. some police officers say they feel hesitant on the job under intense public scrutiny and in the wake of criminal charges against six officers in the Freddie Gray case

    About goddamn time.

  19. It’s a good thing that police have to learn the constitution and their local laws before they can go out and take life, liberty and property.

    Non police officers aren’t allowed to have an excuse for not knowing the law. Why are police allowed to have an excuse?

    • do we know that’s what happened in this case? we already know the prosecutor doesn’t know her city’s laws ( suspect had an illegal knife)

      • The suspect was arrested for making eye contact and running, remember? The maybe illegal knife was found afterwards, after he’d been tied up so as to be defenseless and then bounced around for a while, somebody found a knife. When he was mysteriously deadened, the knife became maybe illegal. And since we will never hear his side of the story, I am totally unconvinced that he had that knife when arrested, it may have belonged to a cop at that time. We have videos of his transport, where is the knife? And how is that officer and his attorney so absolutely certain the knife is illegal, if he/they are not intimately familiar with it, as in, owned it. And the arrest is still a problem anyway, they had no probable cause to pursue him, or to search him in order to find the “illegal” knife. Whole thing really stinks.

        • Just like how this man didn’t have possession of the Taser when he was killed? After he died the Taser makes it to his body somehow.

    • Laws are simply suggestions to police.. they don’t really have to *know* any of them, But if by chance they are challenged with the legalities of some traffic law, they just error on the side of guilty, and it’s considered honorable.

  20. Prog crowd (rioters) turn on their Prog enablers (government) when the Prog enforcers (police) aren’t held accountable thanks to Prog elitism, and the useful Prog idiots (local citizens) suffer for it.

    I absolutely love it. I love watching all the Prog scumbags, idiots, and animals who were only ever out for their own corrupt interests tear each other apart. I love watching Prog voters reap what they sow. I hope it keeps happening. Baltimore is one step in the inevitable result of leftist ideology.

    • There are real people trying to feed their families there, too, and I suspect they will fare worse than anyone else. Still, maybe this will convince them to move, which would be a good thing.

  21. I had a buddy who worked as a cop in our area for 11 years and never drew his gun on duty. His wife got a great job so they moved to Baltimore and he got on the City force there. He drew his service gun 2 times in the first 3 days at his new gig, including at the beginning of his shift on day one! Talk about culture shock! He’s now doing private security.

  22. Baltimore is just another large city with unsolvable demographic, economic, and crime challenges. Being a cop in a city like that is a useless, hopeless occupation – like trying to stop the tide from coming in with a spoon.

    most smart people don’t stay cops in a city like that for long – they move to the burbs or quit policing. The ones that remain are often cynical, with an “us vs them” mentality. most of the police force ends up being, uh, “average” intelligence (to be polite). Sometimes the politicians have an “us vs them” mentality against the cops.

    I don’t know why ANY one stays.

  23. As I understand, running away from the police is probable cause for them to chase you.

    If you do not like this, you need to take it up with the legislative branch, not the executive.

  24. Freddie Gray appeared to be injured before he got into the van. In the video of Freddie being put into the van he did not move his legs. Then he was put in the van without a seat belt. Something smells fishy here. If Freddie was resisting he would have been digging in his heels, not just forcing the officers to drag him.

  25. About the running away. A retired LAPD sergeant said you chase someone or just pick them up tomorrow. Gray didn’t just rob a bank, take hostages, and shoot some people.

    Even if he had killed someone he should make it to the police station in a healthy state. Because the law says innocent until proven guilty.

    The number of arrested Baltimore residents that have been first taken to the emergency room first is a red flag.

    The charges include that they made another stop. The charges include that they didn’t see to his well being. A human right.

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