Police Commissioner Kevin Davis Criticizes Councilman for Criticizing City Police

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Photos via Baltimore City government

Kevin Davis is displeased with Councilman Ryan Dorsey’s public take on Baltimore police officers as a whole.

Dorsey on Tuesday commented critically about FOP Lodge 3’s role in Baltimore, as well as the conduct of officers in the Baltimore Police Department, on a story shared on Facebook by Baltimore City Paper. Edward Ericson Jr.’s report concerned a breakdown in contract negotiations between the department and the union. Dorsey directed his frustration at both parties, and jumped on a quote attributed to an anonymous cop who told Ericson the contract impasse “just shows that they [department officials] truly don’t care about the people who take care of this city.”

Ryan “does nothing ‘for’ Baltimore except organize, lobby for, and represent the members of FOP3 against the City,” Dorsey wrote. “Meanwhile, he has the gall to refer to ‘the people who take care of this city’” – a quote the councilman didn’t distinguish as being uttered by the anonymous officer, rather than the union president.

Dorsey was indignant about that description for city police, noting that only about a fifth of the force actually lives in the city limits, while their “payroll accounts for around $320M of City residents’ property taxes.” He ended with a barb: “But sure, don’t even allow those taxpayers a say when y’all beat, abuse, and kill the people who actually live here.”

Davis, who’s been publicly at odds with Ryan over patrol assignments and internal charges brought against the Freddie Gray case officers, called Dorsey’s words “disrespectful and demeaning” on Twitter. When the Sun’s Kevin Rector asked the commissioner about the Facebook comment at a presser yesterday, Davis said, “that’s more than just an opinion. That’s more than just a comment about local residency by police officers. That’s a comment that really is offensive to the men and women who work here each and every day.”

The commissioner also said in an appearance on WBAL’s The C4 Show this morning that he was “outraged” by the remarks. “It’s not true, and it’s not helpful,” he said. He also referred to Dorsey as “very young” and “extremely inexperienced.”

Dorsey responded to Davis’ criticism in an interview with Fox45 last night, according to a staffer in his office, but the story hasn’t been posted online. The councilman wasn’t immediately available for an interview this morning.

The FOP, for one, appreciated the commish’s response:

The union also went after the Baltimore Sun for endorsing Dorsey when he ran for his council seat last year:

Dorsey hasn’t been shy with his words about public figures and agencies since he assumed office in December. He kicked off his council tenure by proposing a resolution – one that was unanimously adopted – condemning then-president-elect Donald Trump.

In February, he voiced concerns over how Baltimore Housing and city authorities dealt with Bell Foundry tenants after evicting them from their DIY dwellings. That same month, he deemed Kevin Plank’s planned Port Covington development “white supremacy,” saying it will benefit white residents more than black ones. The latter comments earned reprove from city officials, but resonated with many Baltimore residents.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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