Retired Baltimore police officer Michael A. Wood Jr. is making the media rounds, expounding on his explosive tweets that alleged serious and systemic misconduct within the Baltimore Police Department. This time, he was talking to the BBC, who asked him for more details on each of his terse tweets.
His perspective on the alleged corruption and brutality continues to be interesting. Sure, there are lots of people who use phrases like “institutional racism” and who condemn racial profiling, but it’s still pretty darn novel to get that kind of talk from a former cop.
In his explanation of routine illegal searches he says he saw Baltimore police commit against “thousands of people” he compared his experiences to The Wire.
“The Wire isn’t Baltimore but it’s got some dramatically accurate representations,” he said. “There are a load of officers, and there are a bunch of black guys on the corner and they jump out of there car and search them. And as long as they’re cool they say, ‘Alright, man, get off the corner.'”
He added: “Legally you can’t go into their pockets, you can’t search them but that happens to everybody. You just grab them and start searching them. I did it, we all do it — it’s what police do. Those are all illegal searches.”
Asked how often that kind of thing happened, Wood stressed what has become a theme of his public statements: these kinds of abuses aren’t just common, they’re constant.
“I was standing there doing it with everybody else,” he said. “That’s just what you’re taught to do. You don’t even think — it’s what you do.”
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