After Baltimore police detective Joe Crystal blew the whistle on two city officers for the assault of a handcuffed drug suspect in 2011, the department didn’t exactly give him an award for integrity. In fact, he claims he was “targeted with taunts and threats from four different police supervisors.” One day he found a dead rat on his vehicle.
He reported the harassment, but despite promising a “full investigation,” the department hasn’t done anything. Well, no, they’ve done something. They opened an Internal Affairs investigation against Crystal for the relatively minor infraction of using his police vehicle to drive his wife home.
Then the department offered to drop the IA investigation if he would agree not to bring suit against the city for witness intimidation and not to talk to reporters about the deal. Instead, Crystal has decided to leave the Baltimore police force.
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts claims to support Crystal as a whistleblower “[s]tanding before police officers in a community and saying ‘I will not tolerate misconduct.'” So why do we have an investigation into Crystal instead of a more important one into the “four different police supervisors” Crystal claims to have been threatened by? Why are we losing a whistleblower and holding on to the alleged harassers?
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