Protests in Baltimore over the arrest and death of Freddie Gray

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Wrong Guy, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    FBI admits providing air support to Baltimore Police during Freddie Gray unrest | Baltimore Sun

    In the wake of last week’s riots, federal authorities provided aircraft for surveillance flights over Baltimore, keeping a quiet aerial eye on the lookout for new outbreaks of violence, an FBI spokeswoman said Wednesday.

    “The aircraft were specifically used to assist in providing high-altitude observation of potential criminal activity to enable rapid response by police officers on the ground,” said spokeswoman Amy Thoreson. “The FBI aircraft were not there to monitor lawfully protected First Amendment activity.”

    Thoreson did not say what kinds of aircraft were used or who operated them. But the unusual activity in the sky over several days last week has attracted the attention of civil libertarians, who want more details about the aircraft and the flights.

    On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Justice Department and the Federal Aviation Administration seeking more details about flights by two planes.

    “These are not your parents’ surveillance aircraft,” said Jay Stanley, an ACLU analyst. “Today, planes can carry new surveillance technologies, like cellphone trackers and high-resolution cameras that can follow the movements of many people at once.

    “These are not the kinds of things that law enforcement should be using in secret.”

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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Maryland's senators support federal probe in Baltimore | Associated Press

    U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski said Thursday that she and other members of Maryland's congressional delegation support Baltimore's mayor in asking for a broad federal investigation of whether city police engage in discriminatory patterns or practices — a request sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody last month.

    The Democratic senator told U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch during a Senate subcommittee hearing that Lynch would get a letter later Thursday from the Maryland delegation supporting Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's request, made Wednesday.

    "In many cities throughout the country, including my own city of Baltimore, the trust between community and police is broken. We must do all we can to restore that trust," Mikulski said in a written statement.

    Rawlings-Blake has won support from other public officials and praise from legal experts for requesting the investigation after previously saying she was determined to fix the Baltimore Police Department's problems herself.

    Lynch said in written testimony prepared for the Senate hearing that her agency is considering the request and she intends to have a decision "in the coming days."

    She said the city has made significant strides in a voluntary, collaborative reform effort with the Justice Department that began last fall, but "I have not ruled out the possibility that more may need to be done."

    The mayor's announcement Wednesday came a day after her closed-door meeting at City Hall with Lynch.

    The broad investigation, if undertaken by the federal agency, could eventually force the city to make changes under the oversight of an outside monitor.

    Rawlings-Blake said she would accept outside intervention to repair fractured relations between the police and the public in a city that was torn by riots over Gray's death.

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  3. Ann O'Nymous Member

    • Obsession: I have a few, but you are not one of them. Sorry.
    • Manners; Lurk moar.
    Funny, coming from you:
    • You never commented the links I provided, e.g. the Stanford one.
    • On this topic, you asserted your opinion, much more than I did. In the end, your opinion seems to contradict many things you said before. TL;DR think before posting.
  4. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Indicative of how intransigent police corruption is in Baltimore
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Loretta Lynch opens federal inquiry into Baltimore police department | The Guardian

    The US Department of Justice will conduct a federal civil rights inquiry into the Baltimore police department, attorney general Loretta Lynch announced on Friday.

    The investigation, which comes amid the prosecution of six officers over the death of Freddie Gray, will look into whether the department displayed a “pattern or practice” of unconstitutional policing.

    “Recent events, including the tragic death in custody of Freddie Gray, have given given rise to a serious erosion of public trust,” Lynch said at a press conference in Washington.

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Motion filed to have Marilyn Mosby recuse herself | WBAL

    Motion filed by Officer Edward Nero's attorney

    A motion has been filed on behalf of the officers charged in Freddie Gray's death. In it, it's asked that Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby recuse herself. It gives five reasons, including the seizing of personal gain by Mosby and her husband, personal relationships with individuals who will be witnesses at trial, the role of her office as the investigators, the pending civil claim against Mosby and her office, and the financial interest of the attorney for the Gray family, who they claim is a close friend of Mosby.

    Officer Edward Nero's attorney released the following statement to 11 News Friday afternoon: "The pleadings speak for themselves, and we look forward to litigating them in the courtroom," said attorney Marc L. Zayon.
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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

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  9. War Against Activism: How Undercover Cops Are Destroying Protest Movements

    May 8th, 2015 | by Vandita
    The Baltimore Uprising recently witnessed undercover police officers attempting to redirect marches and encouraging protesters to disperse. These agent provocateurs performed actions that gave their colleagues in uniform an excuse to crack down on protesters. Undercover cops are police
    departments’ latest tools to force compliance.

    Police’s crowd-control tactics, that include causing drama to sow discord and inciting protesters to act violently so that the protest movement loses credibility, are now being used more and more to clear out crowds, repress protestors defying the curfew, get rid of media and suppress peaceful and just protest movements.

    In 2012 #BlackLivesMatter was launched after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman who had clearly murdered Trayvon Martin in cold blood. The movement gathered steam as daily headlines drive home the tragic fact that the cops were killing a black man, woman or child every 28 hours.

    During a protest in 2014, Michael Jaeger and George Buford, both listed as community policing officers or problem-solving officers — Oakland Police Department’s substitute for undercover cops, were caught posing as scruffy, hoodie-wearing protesters named Roy and Devon. The two undercover officers were assigned to follow the march and provide information to stop protesters from blocking highways.

    Moar ....
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Matt Pearce @mattdpearce · 15 minutes ago
    The Freddie Gray case could get real weird.

    The Baltimore Sun @baltimoresun · 17 minutes ago
    WBAL's Jayne Miller might be called as witness in #FreddieGray case.
    Attorneys say they have subpoenaed her notes.

    Jayne Miller missing in WBAL report on motion naming her in Freddie Gray case

    By David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun, May 10. 2015

    WBAL-TV’s “big story” Friday night was a motion filed by the attorneys for the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. The news: They were seeking dismissal of the case and recusal by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby for multiple alleged conflicts of interest.

    The story was given prominent placement in the newscast, but one important fact was left out: One of the people named in the motion was WBAL reporter Jayne Miller, who is involved in one of the alleged conflicts of interest with Mosby’s office.

    Miller was never mentioned in the WBAL story reported by George Lettis, according to both the video of the newscast and a transcript posted online.

    In his report, Lettis methodically went through the alleged conflict-of-interest allegations in the motion. The ones targeting Mosby range from her husband serving as City Council member from the district that became “ground zero” for protests, to her receiving campaign contributions from Billy Murphy Jr., an attorney for the Gray family.

    Through a spokeswoman, Mosby declined to comment to The Sun Friday, but she had dismissed such criticism in the past.

    Also: “Conflict of interest Number Two: personal ties between one of the prosecutors and the media, specifically pertaining to interviews with Donta Allen, the other man in the police van with Freddie Gray,” Lettis told viewers.

    What he didn’t tell them is the media figure named as having “personal ties” in the motion is Miller, as a result of her relationship with Deputy State’s Attorney Janice Bledsoe – a relationship that WBAL did not disclose to viewers during Miller’s coverage of the case.

    “Counsel for the Defendants demand that Mrs. Mosby recuse herself and her Office from the above-captioned cases in light of the inherent and overly prejudicial conflict raised by the lead prosecutor’s relationship to a potential vital witness who is also a key member of the local media,” the motion states.

    It then goes on to name Bledsoe and Miller as the lead prosecutor and key member of the media who are “in a relationship.”

    WBAL's report -- by saying "personal ties between one of the prosecutors and the media" instead of Miller, the member of the media who is named -- might suggest to some viewers that the attorneys are alleging widespread conflicts of interest throughout the media.

    Lettis also didn’t tell viewers that the attorneys for the police officers said they might call Miller as a witness in this case – making her part of the story.

    Because Miller interviewed Allen, the man in the van with Gray, the attorneys believe Miller is now a “substantive witness to an impeachment relative to the veracity and detail of Mr. Allen.”

    According to Sun reporter Justin Fenton’s story on the motion, the attorneys say they have subpoenaed Miller's notes.

    Miller is becoming more and more a part of the story, because she and the station failed to act on her conflict of interest when they should have. Given her relationship, she should never have been covering the story. Or, if she did cover it, she should have disclosed that relationship each and every time she reported on it.

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  11. Hugh Bris Member

    More news.
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Prince to play Rally 4 Peace in Baltimore tonight | Associated Press

    Prince is expected to debut his new tribute song "Baltimore" during a performance in the city following the recent protests over the death of a man fatally injured in police custody.

    The pop star will perform Sunday evening at a "Rally 4 Peace" concert at the Royal Farms Arena in downtown Baltimore. Prince will be joined by his funk-rock group 3RDEYEGIRL.

    Organizers say the event is meant to be "a catalyst for pause and reflection" after the recent protests and riots over the death of Freddie Gray. Concert attendees are asked to wear something gray in tribute to all those people lost recently in violence.

    Producers say a portion of the concert's proceeds will benefit youth charities in Baltimore.

    Prince3EG @Prince3EG · 52 minutes ago


    Prince Museum@PrinceMuseum 2 minutes ago
    Prince's show in Baltimore tonight is being streamed LIVE on @TIDALHiFi, 8pm - 9pm EST

    Prince's Concert For Baltimore Is Streaming For Free On Tidal Tonight | Forbes

    Baltimore - Prince featuring Eryn Allen Kane | SoundCloud
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  13. I love The Artist Formerly Known As
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    A list of songs by local artists inspired by the #BaltimoreUprising | City Paper

    We've written about about the songs that demonstrators played out their cars and on portable speakers as they protested the death of Freddie Gray. Now, as musicians from the area start to process and reflect on the #BaltimoreUprising, we present the first batch of songs inspired by these events. Below is a list. We'll add to it as needed:,0,2309707.story
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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Freddie Gray officer had innocent man prosecuted as part of lengthy feud | The Guardian

    The Baltimore police lieutenant charged with the manslaughter of Freddie Gray had an innocent man arrested and prosecuted as part of a years-long personal feud over his love life that city police chiefs were repeatedly warned about.

    Brian Rice filed criminal charges against his ex-girlfriend’s husband in 2013, incorrectly accusing him of breaking a court order, according to sealed court documents obtained by the Guardian. Rice tried to have the same man, Andrew McAleer, arrested again two weeks before Gray’s arrest last month.

    The incident raises further doubts about whether Baltimore police department should have allowed Rice to remain in his job, according to policing experts. McAleer was acquitted after being arrested in a dawn swoop on his home by police. A county court judge later said McAleer had been charged because Rice was a police officer.

    The Guardian reported on Friday that Rice used his position to demand McAleer’s arrest on 29 March. Rice was also earlier accused of threatening to kill McAleer in 2012 and was given a temporary restraining order by a judge.

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  16. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    No wonder the prosecutor came down hard on the police force. Its rotten to the core.
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    How a '50s-Era New York Knife Law Has Landed Thousands in Jail

    By Jon Campbell, Village Voice, October 7, 2014


    For years, New York's gravity-knife law has been formally opposed by a broad swath of the legal community. Elected officials call the statute "flawed" and "unfair." Defense attorneys call it "outrageous" and "ridiculous" -- or worse. Labor unions, which have seen a parade of members arrested for tools they use on the job, say the law is woefully outdated. Even the Office of Court Administration -- the official body of the New York State judiciary -- says the law is unjustly enforced and needs to change. They've petitioned the legislature to do just that.

    But despite significant pushback from many legal experts, the half-century-old statute is the same as it ever was. In fact, it's been enforced with increasing frequency in recent years. Neal didn't know it at the time, but on that summer evening in 2008, he became part of a remarkable surge in gravity-knife arrests in New York City over the past 10 years.

    Law enforcement agencies don't track gravity-knife crimes as a class, which may explain why the frequency of those arrests has gone largely unreported in the news media. But a Village Voice analysis of data from several sources suggests there have been as many as 60,000 gravity-knife prosecutions over the past decade, and that the rate has more than doubled in that time. If those estimates are correct, it's enough to place gravity-knife offenses among the top 10 most prosecuted crimes in New York City.

    The increase seems to be the result of a confluence of forces. Changes in knife design have played a part, as modern features have nudged the most popular styles closer to the edge of the legal definition. But the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program also may be one driver. A prime rationale for the policy has always been weapon recovery; former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly put that goal front and center in a 2013 Wall Street Journal op-ed, pointing out that stop-and-frisk had "taken tens of thousands of weapons off the street" over the previous decade.

    But about 80 percent of weapons recovered under stop-and-frisk were knives, according to an analysis of the department's own statistics. And experts say the vast majority of those were likely misclassified as "gravity knives." Whether deliberate or not, dramatically expanding the definition of an illegal knife has not only landed thousands of innocent people in jail -- it also had the effect of making stop-and-frisk appear far more effective than it actually was.

    Darius Charney is a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), one of the organizations that brought a landmark lawsuit against New York City, resulting in major reforms to the NYPD's stop-and-frisk practices. He said the Voice's analysis illustrates what they've always argued: that stop-and-frisk is really about pursuing low-level crimes, not combating violence.

    "When you're recovering a weapon which is really just a gravity knife, it's not about violent crime," Charney says. "It really calls into question the entire rationale that they've been using for years."

    Gravity-knife arrests may be popular for another reason. Most, like Neal's, result from simple observation of a "pocket clip," often readily visible. All officers need to do is keep their eyes peeled, and they can add another misdemeanor to their tally -- or, if they're lucky, a felony.

    Matt Galluzzo, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan, now a defense attorney in private practice, says that for many officers, a gravity-knife arrest is simply a hard collar to pass up. "You don't have to fight the guy, you don't have to chase him," Galluzzo says. "It's an easy way to make an arrest. And they're under pressure to make arrests." A poster on, a verified online message board for law enforcement officers, put it bluntly in 2013 when he advised a rookie to be on the lookout for "GKs": "make sure they have a prior conviction so you can bump it up to that felony!!!"
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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Baltimore teen hit with $500,000 bail: 'It hurt' to see Freddie Gray videos | The Guardian

    A teen who faced a $500,000 bail after turning himself in to face misdemeanor charges for rioting in Baltimore last month spoke out about the death of Freddie Gray on Tuesday, saying he was still supportive of protests in the city but that “not all police” are to blame for Gray’s death.

    Allen Bullock, joined by his family and attorney J Wyndal Gordon, spoke softly on Tuesday as he told reporters that he knew Gray, and that “it hurt” to see videos of the 25-year-old’s detainment by Baltimore police officers shortly before he suffered fatal injuries in police custody.

    “It wasn’t that he died, it was how he died,” Bullock said.

    Gray, 25, suffered a broken neck at some point during his arrest on the morning of 12 April and his transportation in a police wagon. He died a week later in hospital. Six Baltimore police officers have been charged with crimes relating to the death.

    Bullock, 18, a maintenance laborer employed through Baltimore City’s YouthWorks, joined protests after Gray’s death, where he was recorded smashing a police car with a traffic cone. He turned himself in on 27 April, encouraged by his parents, to face misdemeanor charges, and was hit with a $500,000 bail.

    He was held for 10 days in a Baltimore jail until someone anonymously posted his bail through a bondsman. Neither Bullock and his family nor Gordon seem to know who provided the minimum $50,000 required to make this bail, although they do acknowledge contributions made through crowdfunding efforts.

    Bobbie Smallwood, Bullock’s mother, expressed frustration with the high bail placed on her son, considering that the bail amounts for the six officers charged with involvement in Freddie Gray’s death ranged from $250,000 to $350,000.

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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Baltimore Police Officer Will Serve Six Months for Beating Caught on Video

    By Carlos Miller, PINAC

    A Baltimore police officer who was caught on surveillance video beating a man by repeatedly punching him in the face pleaded guilty to second-degree assault today, receiving a five year prison sentence. However, the judge suspended all but six months of the sentence.

    But who would ever think a cop would spend a single day behind bars? Certainly not Vincent Cosom, who claimed in his police report that he was only defending himself against Kollin Truss who struck him in the body. However, the video shows Truss was trying to walk away from him and never once struck him.

    The incident took place on June 14, 2014, but the city surveillance video did not surface until three months later when the victim’s lawyer obtained the footage. Charges against Truss were dismissed as the video turned into a national story.

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  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Police: Baltimore Officer Stole $3,000 During Fake Operation | The Associated Press

    A Baltimore police officer has been accused of pocketing thousands of dollars during a staged federal sting operation in a hotel room.

    WJZ media partner The Baltimore Sun reports that 47-year-old officer Maurice Jeffers of Savage faces two theft counts in a federal complaint unsealed Thursday.

    Internal affairs investigators say they had been suspicious of Jeffers, who had been accused of accused of theft four previous times.

    In March the investigators staged a sting operation in a hotel room that was filled with cash. Prosecutors say hidden video surveillance shows Jeffers placing about $3,000 in his pockets while he was alone in the room.

    The newspaper says its attempts to reach Jeffers for comment were unsuccessful.

    Jeffers faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of the two theft counts.
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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Baltimore Shuts Off Water To Residents, Lets Businesses Go | News One

    Just when you thought Baltimore couldn’t get more negative publicity (see Maryland governor: approving a $30 million Baltimore youth jail and rejecting $11.5 million for poorly functioning public schools), the embattled city has shut off water service to more than 1,600 customers in the past six weeks – including during the recent civil unrest — trying to collect more than $40 million in unpaid bills.

    But the rub, as reported by The Baltimore Sun, is that the shut offs have affected mostly poor residents, sparing businesses who are also delinquent. In fact, The Sun confirms that not one commercial property (who owe the biggest amounts), has been shut off and all of the service cuts so far have been to homes in “blue collar working class” sections of the city and county. Surprise!

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    City water shut-offs avoid large businesses, hit Baltimore County homes hard | Baltimore Sun

    Baltimore officials, trying to collect some $40 million in long-unpaid water bills, have shut off service to more than 1,600 customers in the past six weeks. But records reviewed by The Baltimore Sun show the city's enforcement has been starkly uneven. While large commercial properties owe the biggest amounts, not one has been shut off. All of the service cuts so far have been to homes. And while the majority of homes with unpaid bills are in the city, nearly 90 percent of shut-offs have been in Baltimore County. Dundalk and Gwynn Oak have each had more service cuts than all of Baltimore.

    Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell, a Republican who represents Dundalk, said he found it "odd" that his community, with a population of less than 64,000, saw more enforcement than a city more than 10 times that size. He has asked officials to verify the accuracy of their data. "There have been a lot of billing errors and mistakes," he said.

    The numbers also trouble Charly Carter, director of the advocacy group Maryland Working Families. "If the city can shut off 1,600 working families from their water, but hasn't shut off even one commercial account, I think that speaks volumes about where their priorities are," she said.

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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Baltimore police rarely charged in deaths | Baltimore Sun

    Marleta House struggled for years to stop hating the Baltimore police officer who shot and killed her husband in 1999 after mistaking his cellphone for a gun. "I don't hate him now," said House, who lives in Dundalk. "He has to answer to a higher power."

    But the 45-year-old MTA bus driver remains just as frustrated today that Officer Christopher Graul was not charged and that Baltimore prosecutors never bothered to tell her why.

    Most families do not see officers charged and tried after a death resulting from an encounter with city police. In fact, before Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby charged six officers in the death of Freddie Gray, just five city officers during the past three decades have faced criminal prosecution for on-duty actions that resulted in death, according to interviews with experts, news reports, government data and court records. One was found guilty; that verdict was overturned on appeal.

    While officials acknowledge that there is no comprehensive historical data on police-involved deaths, the period since 2006 provides a telling sample. Sixty-seven people died in encounters with officers over that period, according to the Baltimore Police Department, and two officers faced criminal charges in those incidents. One, who was on duty when a fatal shooting took place, was acquitted. Another, who was off duty at a nightclub, was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in a separate shooting.

    That illustrates the high bar Mosby faces as she seeks to turn her charges into convictions. Four officers in the Gray case face charges that range from involuntary manslaughter to second-degree-murder; the two others face lesser charges.

    "It's very difficult to get verdicts against the police," said A. Dwight Pettit, an attorney who has filed dozens of civil lawsuits alleging police brutality, including one he lost involving the death of House's husband. "People do not want to believe — before the advent of cameras and cellphones — that the police would do that type of malicious conduct."

    House and other relatives of those who died in police encounters hope Mosby's prosecution and an ongoing federal investigation of the Police Department will help change a prosecutorial process that they say favors police and fosters further brutality.

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  24. The Wrong Guy Member

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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Maryland Chooses Jail Over Schools for Baltimore Youths | TakePart

    By Rebecca McCray

    Two days after Maryland officials approved spending $30 million of taxpayer funds on a shiny new jail for Baltimore youth caught in the snare of the criminal justice system, Gov. Larry Hogan removed $11.6 million from the city’s school budget and reallocated it to the pension fund for state employees, The Baltimore Sun reported.

    The budget decisions reflect a pattern in Maryland and across the U.S. of prioritizing spending on incarceration over education — calling to mind what’s become known as the “school-to-prison pipeline” — and the elderly over the young.

    On the heels of violent unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, which focused attention on the city’s racial and economic inequities, Hogan’s choice to defund education has garnered criticism.

    “Given how the needs of our children have been highlighted by the events of the past few weeks, I hoped that the governor would have agreed with the general assembly that these dollars are critical for expanded educational opportunities,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said at a news conference following Hogan’s announcement.

    Spending on prisons nationwide has outpaced spending on schools in many states in recent years, according to a 2014 study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research institution. Though most states still spend more on education than on corrections, budget outlays on prisons and jails is on the rise while spending on schools is declining. The study found that the states making the deepest cuts to K–12 spending — Arizona, Alabama, and Oklahoma — are all among the 10 states with the highest incarceration rates.

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  26. RightOn Member

    ^ All's they need is to have Criminon implemented into their prison systems and *poof* crime will be gone! :confused:
  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Damning new video shows cops taking limp Freddie Gray out of police van during fateful journey, putting on leg shackles and loading him back in head first - as bystanders pleaded with them to get him medical help
    • Clip shows Gray motionless during the second of five stops made by cops
    • Witness can be heard asking if 25-year-old is alright, but gets no reply
    • Four officers are seen standing over him and putting on extra restraints
    • Another pleads with the cops, who move around van to block the view
    • Gray died a week later from spinal injuries sustained in police custody
    • The six officers involved in his arrested and detention have been charged
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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Grand Jury indicts all 6 officers allegedly tied to Freddie Gray's death | Mashable

    Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby had already charged the officers with various crimes on May 1 — including manslaughter and second degree depraved-heart murder for some — but she now has the support of a civilian jury to back her up.

    6 Officers Indicted In Freddie Gray’s Death | CBS Baltimore

    She also announced that reckless endangerment was added to the charges against the officers and the charges of false imprisonment was removed.

    Depraved Heart Murder: Meaning of Charge Against Baltimore Officer in Freddie Gray’s Death | Newsweek

    “Depraved heart murder is a super manslaughter case. It is like taking a loaded gun and firing it down the street. You kill someone standing on the other side of the street with that shot. You didn’t intend that specific victim but you killed someone,” Walter Balint, a criminal defense attorney in Baltimore with 33 years of experience, told Newsweek.
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  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Brutality lawsuits continue in Baltimore, site of Freddie Gray death | Baltimore Sun

    The city of Baltimore — which is investigating whether police misconduct played a part in Freddie Gray's death — continues to pay out tens of thousands of dollars in settlements for lawsuits alleging brutality.

    In the last two weeks, for example, the city's spending board approved two settlements totaling $255,000. One lawsuit was filed by the estate of a man shot and killed by police in 2012. The other was filed by a man who said he incurred more than $55,000 in medical and dental expenses after being punched by an officer in 2011.

    Overall, the city has paid roughly $6.3 million since 2011 to settle police-misconduct claims, according to a Baltimore Sun review of city and court records.

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  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Baltimore to continue limiting comments about police brutality settlements | Baltimore Sun

    Baltimore officials have rejected policy changes that would provide the public and news media with more information about legal settlements, including those related to alleged police brutality.

    The city Law Department proposed modifications Friday to a controversial clause in settlement agreements, one that lets the city reclaim part of the payout if plaintiffs talk about the allegations — even those contained in court documents. By breaking silence, plaintiffs could lose tens of thousands of dollars.

    According to proposed revisions backed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, those who settle lawsuits would explicitly be allowed to discuss the cases with accountants, tax preparers and financial consultants — but not publicly or with the news media.

    "We have concluded that the use of nondisparagement clauses is generally in the city's best interest as part of the process of resolving litigation without going to a court trial, but we will use our discretion on a case-by-case basis as part of our review of each individual settlement," City Solicitor George A. Nilson said in a statement.

    In some cases, when the facts are widely known by the news media, the city might not use the clause in a settlement, Nilson added. He stressed that the clause is not intended to prevent people from cooperating with government investigations or court proceedings.

    But critics say the clause has helped conceal police brutality — an issue that triggered protests and rioting in the wake of Freddie Gray's death — and runs counter to promises of government transparency.

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  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Sam Renegade @MinneapoliSam · 1 hour ago
    DoJ / FBI operating Domestic Surveillance flights over many US cities. Aircraft registered to shell corps. AZ and TX.

    Sam Renegade @MinneapoliSam · 25 minutes ago
    Many surveillance flights conducted over Baltimore and surrounding areas, particularly College Park as of late.

    Sam Renegade @MinneapoliSam · 12 minutes ago
    People have been asking: the registration of these aircraft are at PO boxes in Bristow, VA. The same city DoJ uses.


    Sam Renegade @MinneapoliSam · 8 minutes ago
    Furthermore, a simple Google search of one of the "company names" listed on the registration shows they're shell corps.
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  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    The myth of the hero cop: Police unions have spread a dangerous message about America’s law enforcement officers.

    Police officers earn more than you think for a job that’s less dangerous than you imagine.

    By David Feige, Slate

    Baltimore’s streets are quiet again. Baltimore’s state’s attorney Marilyn J. Mosby moved quickly in securing indictments against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, and her decisive action has calmed the city for now. But getting a grand jury to indict police officers is a lot easier than getting convictions at trial. That’s because like any prosecutor trying to hold cops accountable, Mosby will be working on an uneven playing field. To prove her case, she won’t just need sufficient evidence. She will also have to overcome a number of deep-seated structural impediments to convicting police officers of crimes — no matter how guilty they are.

    It’s hard to prosecute cops. There are two main reasons for this: The first is the special deference that jurors, judges, and prosecutors show officers thanks to the widespread perception that they are heroic public figures valiantly trying to protect us. The second is the bevy of special laws around the country that are designed to shield police officers from the very tactics the police regularly use on ordinary suspects. For example, in most states, law enforcement officers cannot be questioned until they have been given a few days to get their stories straight. And many states have passed laws — such as Section 50-a of New York’s Civil Rights Law — that are specifically designed to make it almost impossible to obtain or use at trial records of a police officer’s prior brutality or misconduct. These two factors can make convicting police officers extremely difficult, and it is no accident; it is the direct result of the sustained effort by police unions to protect officers from even the most deserved discipline or prosecution.

    While the rules that unfairly protect the police must be changed, it is also high time to re-examine the foundation of these policies: the public perception — lovingly curated by police unions — of the very nature of police work.

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  33. What to complain about? The police have been neutered in Baltimore. Victory!

    Of course, as a result, violent crime and murders are at an all time high in Baltimore, so... ah.

    This message by Hbom has been hidden due to negative ratings. (Show message)
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  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    6 Cops Charged With Murder Ask Judge To Move Case Out Of Baltimore | The Associated Press

    Attorneys for six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are asking a judge to move their case out of Baltimore, arguing it will be impossible to select an impartial jury and receive a fair trial.

    The officers face charges ranging from assault to second-degree "depraved-heart" murder.


    In a lengthy motion filed Wednesday, the defense attorneys argued that a citywide curfew during the unrest created "an insurmountable prejudice."

    Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake imposed the curfew a day after the second outburst of violence. The officers' attorneys compared Baltimore under curfew to "Baghdad and Kabul in its appearance," and argued that because all city residents were "impacted by the events surrounding the arrest and death of Freddie Gray ... every potential juror would bring their passions and prejudices relating to the events with them to the courtroom."

    The motion also argues that in the wake of Gray's death, the case became conflated with longstanding issues of mistrust toward and dysfunction within the police department.


    In their arguments for a change of venue, the officers wrote that the riots, looting and arson were seen as "a symbolic extension" of protests prompted by the Gray case, and statements made by public officials regarding the department as a whole "blurred the line between the defendants and the police department ... so that the negative and hostile implications toward the department have become inseparably enmeshed with those against the defendants."

    "The jurors watched on the news (or in person) their community burning, vehicles being smashed and set on fire, riots erupting around the city, businesses being vandalized and looted," the motion reads. "To have jurors — Baltimore city residents — have to make a decision in this case when they observe such a spectacle would be unfair and wholly improper in this case."

    The motion also asserts that promises from Rawlings-Blake and State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to obtain justice were prejudicial.

    If a Baltimore Circuit Court judge grants the motion, the trial could be moved to another jurisdiction in Maryland. If the judge denies the motion, the officers can opt to proceed with a jury trial in the city or select a bench trial, in which the verdict is determined by a judge.
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  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    FBI Behind Mysterious Surveillance Aircraft

    An Associated Press analysis has revealed the FBI is operating a fleet of small planes, all hidden by fictitious companies, that carry video and, at times, cell phone surveillance technology.
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  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here Are Some of Baltimore's Many May Murder Scenes

    By Trent Reinsmith, VICE

    With 43 homicides, May was Baltimore's deadliest month since August 1972, when more than a quarter million additional residents called Charm City home.

    I spent Sunday driving around town, visiting many of the sites of death.

    At some locations, it was clear that a murder — or more than one — had taken place because they were marked with impromptu shrines. These were no easier to stomach than those that were devoid of signs of remembrance. Balloons, liquor bottles, and stuffed animals were the primary memorials; some scenes were littered with photos and cards addressed to the deceased.

    Fans of HBO's The Wire might get a sick thrill out of the idea of this city experiencing a crime spree. But after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, it's less exciting than sobering to stare at stuffed animals in front of the home where a mother and her seven-year old child were murdered.

    Here's what I saw.

    Continued here:
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  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 1
  38. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    CNN interview with 2 anonymous police officer.
    "You should be compliant, if you are not compliant this happens" I'm not sure where the law says a citizen has to be compliant.
  39. Hugh Bris Member

    just remember qualified immunity. That's the most important cop power.

    They can lie to you with impunity about anything, including your rights. Are if you are right and they are wrong, nothing happens to them for violating your rights. But if you are wrong and they are right, you can go to jail for a long time.

    So, as a matter of fact, if not legality, you should be compliant, since cops are not as stable as we might hope them to be.

    See this interesting editorial by a professor of homeland security:
    IOW, asserting your rights could get you in a world of hurt
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  40. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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