Allegations of BPD’s unreasonable use of force against juveniles are not new. BPD has a history of problematic encounters with youth that pre-date the period of our review. For example, in 2007, officers arrested a seven-year old child for sitting on a dirt bike during an initiative to confiscate dirt bikes.It became a minor scandal: A cop grabbed a 7-year-old off his bike for no reason right in front of his mom! Well that's how the false narrative grew. The paper somehow left off the seemingly important detail that it was a motorized bike. That kind of matters, doesn't it?
Long story short: 7-year-old is rolling down the street on a illegal motorized ATV. The keys are in the bike. Yes, that's what (some) 7-year-olds in Baltimore ride motor bikes with with parental encouragement. A cop sees what is going on and about to happen and does, well, what mom should have done. He takes the kid off the bike. Nobody is hurt. But mom-of-the-year files a complaint against the officer saying police assault her kid. She then (naturally) files a lawsuit for money. But the city (and this isn't natural) doesn't settle. The case goes to court, and the city wins hands-down.
I wrote about this in 2008:
Police had the nerve to stop the 7-year-old from driving an A.T.V. down the street. He wasn't "riding," says the mom; the motor was off. He was just "rolling down the street." The kid was 7. On a motorized ATV that can start with a key. So the police do their job and take the kid off the bike.People blamed about "zero-tolerance" policing, by the way.
This was bad parenting and good policing. It should not be Exhibit A in "unreasonable use of force against juveniles." See, back then this case bothered me because it was still kind of rare in 2007 for a cop to be attacked for doing the right thing. And I bet those who wrote this report make their kids wear a helmet before they can even get on a pedal bike.