Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow said Porter showed a "callous indifference for life" when he deviated from department policies. Defense attorneys have said other police officers routinely break such policies, but Schatzow said those officers should not be considered "reasonable."What's interesting is that the "new" policy, says the department, came out on April 3. Yet a source, a person I trust, says that policy didn't actually come out till after Freddie Gray's arrest, on April 12. The department backdated the memo. I wouldn't put that past them. According to reports, the April 3 memo "went out on April 9, just three days before Porter’s encounter with Gray in Sandtown-Winchester." Wouldn't that be convenient. But it was never read in roll call. Nobody seems to have seen it until after Freddie Gray died. There should at least be an email trail, that 80 page attachment. When did that arrive in the in-boxes?
Of course even if there were no 2015 update, the 1999 memo should still be in effect. Or maybe there was another update in policy between 1999 and 2015? I don't know. How could anybody know? The whole damn system is messed up. I suspect the department didn't know about the 1999 memo and assumed the 1997 policy was still valid. (Which I can't find but nobody seems to doubt.)
So it's possible that in 2015 somebody in the Baltimore City Police Department backdated a new policy to screw the officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, unaware that the policy they were updating was actually identical to what the new memo said. (The 2015 memo might say the year of the policy it is updating, right? I'd be curious to see it.)
Either way, based on 1999 general orders or 2015 policy, all prisoners should be seatbelted. And also no police officer: "while riding gratis on any type of public conveyance, [is] permitted to be seated while other passengers are standing." One questions at hand (the other is about delayed medical care) is whether violating the seat belt policy can be a crime (because Freddie Grey died) It seems like a reasonable person might have doubts.