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by Peter Moskos

July 21, 2015

"System Failure"

From the Baltimore City Paper by Edward Ericson Jr. A quote from an officer:
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 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.
Then last week Connor Meek published an Op-Ed in The Sun about his experience with police after he was mugged for his bicycle on the Gwynns Falls Trail. He walked to the district police station and was told by an officer there that it was closed after 7 p.m., then told he was at the wrong district. Even as the department scrambled and ordered districts to remain open 24 hours, one of the officers Meek had dealt with took to Facebook to chastise him, saying essentially that he was in public near dusk and so should not have expected to be safe. The Facebook posts quickly disappeared after City Paper called attention to them.
And this:
This year’s homicide “clearance rate”—that is, the percentage of murders in which police arrest someone and charge them with the crime—is under 40 percent. Officials at the July 6 press conference said the figure was above 60 percent earlier this year, but over the past four or five years it had averaged in the mid-40s, which was characterized as “just above average” compared to other cities that report the figure to the FBI.

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