Last month, Baltimore resident Connor Meek was mugged by a group of teenagers while riding his bike on the Gwynns Falls Trail. It turns out that was just the beginning of his saga.
As Meek wrote in an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun, the police response to his mugging left him feeling “violated and disrespected.” You should read his whole account, but one of his major complaints was that an officer informed him that the Southern District Station was closed from 7PM to 7AM. You know, at night. The half of the day when most crime happens. “I’m a young white male who had his bike taken from him. I can’t imagine walking up to that door as a black female rape victim, or a recent immigrant, or a domestic abuse survivor and having Bazooka Joe rudely inform me that he wasn’t really interested in taking visitors at this time,” Meek wrote.
Baltimore Police are feeling a little touchy and understaffed these days, so perhaps their response could’ve been predicted: one of the officers who dealt with Meek wrote (and then deleted) a Facebook post essentially blaming Meek for his own mugging, since he was riding his bike at 8PM.
Of course, Meek wasn’t the first person to notice that Baltimore’s police stations are locking citizens out instead of welcoming them in. Other citizen reporters have been YouTubing the locked doors of police stations (sometimes in what looks like broad daylight!) for a few years now. But Meek was the first person to get the significant platform of the Sun to voice his concerns.
In response to Meek’s op-ed, the Baltimore Police announced a new policy: All police districts will now maintain lobbies that are open to the public 24/7.
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