BALTIMORE, MD. – This would almost be funny if we weren’t dealing with an otherwise very serious situation. The mayor of Baltimore, Jack Young, actually pleaded with residents of the city to stop shooting each other due to the coronavirus pandemic. Yes, he actually said that.
In a news conference, Young made the plea saying that the city has a limited number of hospital beds that are needed to treat victims of COVID-19.
At the same news conference, he also declared a state of emergency in the city amidst a fifth reported coronavirus in Baltimore and the appearance of a growing community spread in the city.
“I want to reiterate how completely unacceptable the level of violence is that we have seen recently,” Young said, according to WJZ-TV. “We will not stand for mass shootings and an increase in crime.”
Since last Friday, Baltimore has seen an increase in violence according to city police commissioner Michael Harrison. Among the incident as a mass shooting that occurred Tuesday night, resulting in seven victims requiring hospital transportation. They are listed in serious but stable condition.
MASS SHOOTING WEST BALTIMORE
Scene is massive. Many moving parts. Still verifying lots of info flowing in. pic.twitter.com/TOk3q6iYMC
— MacArthur For Baltimore (@BaltoSpectator) March 18, 2020
“For those of you who want to continue to shoot and kill people in this city, we’re not going to tolerate it,” Young said. “We’re going to come after you and we’re going to get you.”
“We cannot clog up our hospitals and beds with people that are being shot senselessly because we’re going to need those beds for people infected with the coronavirus,” Young said.
“And it could be your mother, your grandmother or one of your relatives. So take that into consideration.”
Young is apparently assuming that the thugs engaging in these shootings have a conscience. Guaranteed they do not. And why should they?
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, she of the failed arrest and prosecution of six Baltimore police officers in the Freddy Gray case, has decided to suspend some criminal prosecutions in the city.
Why you may ask?
To protect the criminals.
That’s correct, Mosby is reducing criminal prosecutions in Baltimore to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spread…in prisons.
On Wednesday, this overmatched neophyte of a prosecutor ordered her staff to drop pending criminal charges against anyone who has been arrested for drug possession, prostitution, trespassing, minor traffic offenses, open container and public urination.
Now, call us maybe ignorant but how many of those particular crimes actually end up sending people to prison in the first place?
In Mosby’s letter to staff, she said:
“An outbreak in prison or jails could potentially be catastrophic. Now is not the time for a piecemeal approach where we go into court and argue one by one for the release of at-risk individuals.”
So let’s analyze this a bit. You have the mayor who says, “We’re going to come after you and we’re going to get you,” while we have Mosby saying that she will not prosecute a number of crimes. Talk about your basic mixed messages.
Maybe Mosby is auditioning for future membership in “The Squad” in Washington. Perhaps they can branch out to a minor league division for woke politicians in cities and towns. After all, Ayanna Presley recently called for the release of prisoners throughout the country due to the coronavirus.
Getting back to Young’s executive order, it allows for the city to make emergency procurements related to the pandemic, and is in effect for 30 days.
‘Baltimore is moving to a new phase of response,” Young said in a press conference.
According to the city solicitor, one of the most important components of Young’s declaration is that it lets officials secure goods “on an emergency basis.” Dana Moore said that as part of the city’s response to the virus, they need to buy more food and pay to shelter homeless people in hotels.
“We are in a new world,” Moore said. “We don’t have time to wait to go through our normal city procurement process.”
For more on DA Marilyn Mosby, dig deeper.
Can we just acknowledge that Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby does not particularly care for police officers?
After a police sergeant was shown on video being viciously attacked by a mob of miscreants while trying to make an arrest on Friday, one would think that Mosby would have taken to the microphone and condemned the dirtbags who attacked the officers.
Not Mosby. Who did she criticize? The police union representing Baltimore police officers. She accused the police union of “fanning the very flames they then call on me to put out,” saying the union responded to the attack on the sergeant with “inappropriate political rhetoric.”
Thankfully the sergeant was not seriously injured, however Maryland’s governor, as well as the city’s mayor and police commissioner all condemned the mob’s behavior, and also praised the work of the sergeant.
Sgt. Mike Mancuso, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 held nothing back, however in blaming city officials for the attack. Mancuso said that the behavior of the crowd was “indicative of a broken city that is being led by people who have absolutely no real time crime plan, or it seems even know how to formulate one.”
In the tweet,Mancuso continues, “Crime in Baltimore is out of control and until new leadership is elected and appointed, this lack of respect for the law and those who enforce it will continue and deepen.”
This is the current climate in #Baltimore disturbing and humiliating. I’m sure going to work under these conditions is making it harder day by day for most. #stayalertstayalive #Policing in 2020 #ThisIsBaltimore a broken City!! pic.twitter.com/YqoYlkcPjw
— Daniel Barahona🌎🦅🇺🇸 (@GlobalSETT) January 18, 2020
In fact, Mancuso’s sentiments also extend to the governor’s office. Earlier in the week, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who is a Republican, said that Baltimore’s Democrat city leaders lacked a plan for addressing crime.
“It really takes some leadership in the city to start getting tough,” Hogan said, speaking at a Maryland National Guard event. “There’s no crime plan, there’s no continuity, and it’s just simply unacceptable that people are being shot and killed in the streets every single day, and people are fed up with it,” Baltimore station WBAL-TV reported.
After Baltimore mayor Bernard C. Young and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison addressed reporters at a Saturday news conference, Mancuso was still unsatisfied.
“Clearly the Commissioner did not fully appreciate the severity of the situation in which our brave Brother found himself, despite its blatancy,” he said in a statement. “He cannot treat our membership with disdain on a daily basis, then run to defend them when it suits his political agenda.”
Mancuso wasn’t done there.
He continued, in speaking about the Mayor, “Go have your walk on Pennsylvania Ave., spew your rhetoric about the failed crime plan, and tell everyone how tough you are on criminals. We all know the truth is that you are in way over your head! Attacking me is just another attempt to take the heat off your failed leadership.”
In a statement, Young said that the attack on the sergeant was a “reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers face on the job. While we’re all thankful that the sergeant was not seriously injured, the situation could have easily turned more dangerous.” He also noted that one arrest has been made and that police were “actively searching for others.”
Back to Mosby, who is clearly out of her league as a “prosecutor” in Baltimore. You remember her, don’t you? She is the prosecutor who charged six Baltimore police officers in the Freddy Gray case back in 2015, where all six officers subsequently were either found not guilty or had their charges dropped. Mosby fancied herself as some kind of rising star in the Democrat party and likely had her sights set on bigger things when she tripped and fell on her face with the Gray case.
Mosby famously held a press conference when she announced the arrests of the six officers, where she tried to invoke the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King:
“To the people of Baltimore, and the demonstrators across America, I have heard your call of ‘No justice, no peace,’” she said. “Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.”
Mosby, you are no Dr. King. Maybe more along the lines of “Reverend” Al Sharpton, the ultimate conman. But we digress.
Mosby was NOT a happy camper, launching a tirade against Mancuso and the leadership of the police union. Not just happy with blasting union leadership, she also went after other members of the police department. She further accused the police union of being “relentlessly divisive” and accused the union of “hypocritical finger-pointing.”
“The same sense of outrage in this case should be expressed by the leaders of the police union when their officers are convicted of attempted murder, assault and unlawful arrest against citizens,” Mosby wrote.
Mosby could not help herself. Any chance she gets to throw police officers under the bus, she is more than happy to take.
Rank and file Baltimore police officers and Mosby have a history of a contentious relationship.
Last year, Mosby identified 305 city police officers whom she said have “integrity concerns.” Mosby presented the list to a state policing commission which had been formed to “identify department issues that fostered a corrupt police unit.” Mosby said that the integrity concerns basically means those officers will not be able to testify in court.
Brian Nadeau, the deputy commissioner of the department’s Public Integrity Bureau told the commission that most of the listed officers do not have credibility issues, however, did identify 22 officers on the list who should not be allowed to testify.Only two of those officers are still on the Baltimore PD.
“Nobody on that list that I wouldn’t have working on the street, making cases,” Nadeau said.
The number represents nearly 15 percent of the city’s 2,300 member police force.
One of the commission members and an attorney, Sean Malone remained concerned about the number of officers on the list, saying “That’s just a disturbing number.”
Nadeau downplayed that concern, noting that “quite a few” officers named were subjects of complaints that were not sustained.
Nadeau was also concerned that the state’s attorney’s “hit list” can also be used by defense attorneys to benefit their clients under what is known as “Brady/Giglio material, or exculpatory information.
While noting that the state’s attorney’s office has a much broader policy for disclosure of information to defense than other agencies, Mosby’s deputy Michal Schatzow noted that material passed on to defense attorneys isn’t necessarily admissible in court.
Mosby related that the list served two purposes. One to identify material that should be shared with defense attorneys, and secondly to alert the department of any possible issues with its officers.
“We think it’s important for the police department to make a determination of what they are going to do with their employees,” she said.
She also said the list is “fluid, something we update rather frequently,” noting that it went from 183 names to 212 to the current list of about 305 since October. Apparently, the list only goes up, not down.
Baltimore police spokesman Matt Jablow stated in an email:
“We are aware of the list and the officers who are on it.”
Some of the issues involve current Internal Affairs investigations that could result in discipline, though there are many officers who are on the list despite allegations of wrongdoing that were not sustained.
At the time of the announcement, public defenders in the city said that they would expect Mosby’s office to release the list, since it raises questions about the officer’s credibility.
“We do not have any information about whether the State’s attorney has compiled a list of officers with credibility issues,” said Melissa Rothstein, spokeswoman for the Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore, in an email. “If so, this would be classic Brady material, constitutionally required for disclosure, that we would expect to get a copy of.”
“Brady material” refers to the Brady/Giglio information referenced earlier.
Of course, private defense attorneys are also all over this.
“If she does have a list, she should publish it so we would know in case they [the officers] slip through the cracks and are called,” said Warren Brown, a defense attorney in the city. “A lot of defendants plead guilty on the advice of their lawyer because it’s a police officer’s word against yours. I would love to know who’s on this list so I could go back and see if they have testified in any of my cases.”
The forum that Mosby was speaking at was a town-hall forum on policing sponsored by Players Coalition, a non-profit founded by former NFL players Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins to promote “social justice and racial equality.” Of course, the NFL is very familiar with crime and criminals. However, that is another story.
During the forum, Mosby referenced a past high profile corruption case in the Baltimore PD, Gun Trace Task Force, where eight former members of the department’s gun squad were convicted of federal racketeering crimes and sentenced to prison terms from eight to 25 years. During a year-long investigation, more than a dozen other BPD officers were discredited. As a result, they petitioned courts in December to throw out nearly 800 criminal cases that related in particular to 25 police officers.
“Some of these allegations were rather egregious, like GTTF. That’s an extreme, planting guns and drugs on individuals. And yet, they were still employed, right? And they were putting us in a position where in essence we’re not going to call them, right? But it’s incumbent on the department to do something with their employees,” Mosby said.
Meanwhile, police officers in Baltimore have a target on their backs and crime is out of control. Mosby would be better served, as would the city of Baltimore, if she tried to work alongside police to develop solid anti-crime strategies and work as partners instead of trying to pad her resume as some type of criminal justice reformer.
We will not hold our breath waiting for that to happen.
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