Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said today he is scheduled to meet with leadership from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 as the police union continues to lob social media criticism of the city’s crime-fighting efforts.
The union representing sworn officers, sergeants and lieutenants, however, said the meeting was supposed to take place this past Monday, and Young cancelled “citing his disagreement with the main topic.”
At this point, there’s nothing scheduled, per the FOP.
Just what they will talk–or would have talked–about is a bit unclear.
“Well, they reached out to have the meeting,” Young said at his weekly press conference when asked about the topic of discussion, “so I guess we’re gonna talk about a number of things.”
He continued: “I really don’t know what they wanna talk about. I know I wanna talk about how we can work together to improve the crime-fighting in the city of Baltimore.”
A representative with the FOP declined to comment on the purpose of the meeting.
The union has in recent weeks affixed the hashtag #CityInCrisis to a series of tweets about escalating crime rates or high-profile crimes, including the shooting of one of its own, Sgt. Isaac Carrington.
Baltimore has just recorded its 500th failed murder (shooting). #CityinCrisis!!
— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) August 20, 2019
— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) August 25, 2019
— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) August 26, 2019
Most recently, the FOP criticized an incident on Tuesday where officers were called off of the pursuit of a silver SUV driven by a man who fired into a patrol car in West Baltimore and may have tried to run over another officer during a traffic stop.
In a rather loaded comparison, the tweet likened the end of the pursuit to the claim by officers that they were ordered to stand down during the rioting after Freddie Gray’s funeral in 2015. (The police commissioner at the time, Anthony Batts, repeatedly denied giving such an order.)
The brave men and women of the Baltimore Police Department were told to stand down during the riots. Now we are being told to stand down on an attempted murder of a police officer. #CityinCrisis
— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) August 27, 2019
Police Commissioner Michael Harrison called a press conference to seeking help finding the SUV. He said the high-speed chase was called off for safety reasons.
“As we encounter a danger factor with following the car, the pursuit was called off because of the danger factor to citizens and officers,” Harrison said.
The FOP was previously critical of the crime plan Harrison released in late July, with president Mike Mancuso calling it “untenable.” In a lengthy statement, Mancuso said some of the policies, such as initiating micro-zones to police crime and more community engagement, did not reflect the reality of the department needing hundreds more officers for patrol.
Speaking today, Young called the union’s negative attacks “a great distraction,” saying all the stakeholders need to come together “instead of everybody putting out all these little quotes.”
“If we’re serious about dropping down crime,” he said, “we need all the partners at the table.”