There two things that I take away for this sad incident.
One, police brutality is not limited to white police officers. Now, I believe that all who decide that they want to dedicate themselves to public service, come to their respective police departments with good intentions, but they are corrupted by the culture of entitlement and perceived superiority that their experienced brethren force them into. In other word if you want to survive as a police officer, you must become one of us, that is, be as corrupt as we are, because if you do not, we will ostracize you, we will marginalize you, we will punish you; and that sentiment is accepted by superiors, because after all, they came up through the same ranks. So we find minority officers caught up in the dispensing brutality in the same manner of their “blue line” brothers, mostly because they are indoctrinated to forget who they are supposed to protect, the public, as well as the health of those in their custody. Minority officers do not generally, as yet, just shoot young black men; although there have been cases where they inexcusably participate in the volley of shots fired in unison by a multitude of officers, when a confrontation occurs.
So we have these police officers in Baltimore, indicted for allowing or participating in the brutality and death of Freddie Gray, loss of reputation, and career, facing prison… because they “went along” with the practices of the system. Just like the others, they lost sight of their mission and now, not only are they suffering but their friends and families are too.
Maybe entire police departments, across this nation, will heed this moment and change, but I doubt it. But black officers, must find a way to be superior officers despite those who do not want to change. They must.
This brings me to the hierarchy of the Police Department in Baltimore who have neglected to disseminate and then enforce the message, that bad behavior by officers would not be tolerated.
I would encourage all to research the background of its Commissioner Anthony Batts and his tenure in Long Beach and Oakland, California and the accusations of domestic violence, and his questionable administrative ability.
He may not have been the right choice to change the culture of police brutality in Baltimore. We have to question whether he even tried to find out why there was a plethora of claims of abuse and adverse entitlement against his police officers or whether he wanted to do anything about it.
I tried to google the leaders in the department and found little background for them. If the hierarchy is devoid of any sensitivity to safety of the citizens of Baltimore, they only encourage the gross behavior of their officers, as evidenced by the numerous grave charges levied against them.
As for Stephanie Rawling-Blake, she really needs to re-evaluate her choice for police commissioner and his team, and whether any of the leaders in that department need to continue working for the city; after all, they are overseeing all these atrocities without any meaningful change in the way they allow their police to act.
It is evident they “did not get the message” and have chosen to ignore the mistreatment and viciousness meted out by their troops. It is time for wholesale changes in that department. Rawlings-Blake, if she wants to preserve her legacy, needs to clean house, from the top down and put in place police department managers who are willing to change the way police officers do their jobs, retrain those to peaceful engage the it’s citizens, improve its integrity, and prove to the people in Baltimore that the Police Department is really there to “protect and serve”. People want an effective police force, not oppressors and punishers. Baltimore needs a department that will treat all its citizens with courtesy, dignity and respect, even the criminals they have to take into custody. To do less will inevitably lead to the chaos; mayhem and murder we have seen unfold in Baltimore these past weeks.
The ball is in your court, Stephanie…….
By the way, much kudos to State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby for doing her job and indicting these bad actors for their transgresions regarding Freddie Gray. She boldly did what she was elected to do, indict criminals and bring them to justice; unlike the two grossly incompetent and biased attorneys in Ferguson and Staten Island, NY.
Remember, in the Mike Brown matter as well as the Eric Garner case, the murderers can still be indicted by the State’s Attorneys, if they choose to do so. What we need is a special prosecutor appointed to do just that, indict Darren Wilson and the shoddy cops who participated in themurder of Eric Garner. They were never TRIED in court so double jeopardy is not in play in either case.
Why we are not protesting over these cases, I do not understand, Rev Al….. all we need are unbiased attorneys with some guts. Lets demand it!!!
Enough said, I’m out!!!