Tag: bpd

Baltimore to Consider Giving Police and Firefighters a Break

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Photo via National Police Car Archives

Can a piece of legislation mend the broken relationships between residents, public safety officials, and the city?

Baltimore Police Department Amends “Use of Force” Policy in Favor of De-Escalation

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Patrick Woolley is an experienced criminal and DUI defense attorney in Virginia, practicing primarily in Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier, and Culpeper Counties.

Following the death of Freddie Gray from injuries suffered in Baltimore Police custody in 2015, it seems that federal and local authorities have begun to heed the call for the fight against police brutality.

Baltimore Police Say It’s Okay for the Public to Film Them, for Real This Time

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For more than two years now, Baltimore police have had a standing order to allow the public to videotape them as they go about their business. But according to the American Civil Liberties Union, the order wasn’t good enough. And the proof is in the pudding! Just last month officers demanded a college student cease filming an arrest in Towson and “pushed away” a Baltimore Sun photographer at a crime scene.

Now, after coughing up $250,000 over a complaint from a man who claims Baltimore police erased his cell phone video of an arrest at Preakness in 2010, the department is definitively changing its policy.

As reported in the Baltimore Sun, the new rule states: “Members of the general public have a First Amendment right to video record, photograph, and/or audio record BPD members while BPD members are conducting official business … unless such recordings interfere with police activity.”

Baltimore’s Police Force May Soon Grow by 300 Officers

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The Baltimore Police Department has announced that they are looking to remedy the city’s extreme cop shortage by going on a massive hiring binge of 300 new officers. The department hopes to complete hiring by the end of the summer. Assuming they meet that goal, we should notice a huge boost in patrol officers by August or September.

Acording to Lt. Eric Kowalczyk, “community after community” has been voicing its desire for a larger police presence. Despite Sgt. Sarah Connolly’s previous assurances that our overworked and understaffed police force in no way impacts “the safety of our citizens,” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has conceded that there are simply too few officers to handle the level of crime we’ve been seeing.

Did a Baltimore Homicide Detective Shoot Himself to Get Worker’s Compensation?

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Here’s a weird one. In 2011, a Baltimore city homicide detective  was shot in a parking garage downtown. And state prosecutors believe the assailant may have been himself. Now Anthony Fata is on trial for “perjury, misconduct in office, and making false claims to obtain worker’s compensation.

Fata claimed that he was confronted by an armed man (who was black, just like Karla Porter’s imaginary gunman) in the parking garage stairwell. The man shot at him, after which Fata returned fire. The gunman ran up the stairs, and for a moment Fata followed, but eventually hung back, believing he was out of bullets.

Baltimore Police Officers “Looking for Excuses” Not to Do Their Jobs, Says City Councilman

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Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood has experienced a spike in burglaries, with at least 25 (including attempted burglaries) reported in the past month. At times, it’s gotten downright creepy. One victim whose phone was stolen from her home later found a picture of the burglar holding a gun uploaded to her Facebook page. Another reported that a frustrated would-be burglar left human waste on her home.

As alarming as these burglaries are in their own right, they’re also making the Baltimore Police Department look bad. Not because the break-ins (which police believe may be largely the work of a single teenager) have yet to be solved. But because they’ve given neighbors the opportunity to compare notes on their unsatisfying encounters with law enforcement.

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