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by Peter Moskos

June 2, 2011

Probation for Baltimore Officers

These were the two officers who stranded two 15-year-olds far from their home. They were not the first officers to do this. They may be the last. (My earlier post.)

From the Sun:
[Judge] Doory said the fact that Johnson was left in Howard County without shoes "stood like a monument" in the middle of the case and remained inadequately explained. "What I don't understand is the 'why,'" Doory said. "I can only conclude that this was done for fun … or as homage to the legends of the good old boys, or was a convoluted attempt to teach someone respect."
Or perhaps all three.

While I admit this activity is awfully hard to defend, I'm still not convinced it's always wrong. Especially given the alternative of arrest, CBIF, going through the system, and a criminal record.

Like the espantoon, shooting at fleeing felons, drinking at the American Brewery, and "keying" up your radio, this venerable Baltimore police tradition is probably history.

Despite the judicial slap on the wrist, the officers still risk being fired. I say cut them some slack. If the powers that be don't want this to happen anymore, bang down hard if there's a next time.


Anonymous said...

I've read your book and enjoyed it, and had a quick question for you. I am considering applying for the BPD and wanted to know whether you and possibly your friends still on the force consider that a good decision. I know that they've taken a morale hit with the budget cuts, among other things.

PCM said...

Some like it. Some don't. It's a job. Do it. And don't let the bastards get you down.

Morale is low right now, but who knows how it'll be a few years?

But man, I would have been driven over the edge when they tacked years on to the retirement age. That was low-down and dirty.