Police sergeant dragged by suspect’s car was placed on life support, and the suspect is finally in custody – again.

Share:

BALTIMORE, MD – Police have identified Joseph Black, 36, as the individual that dragged a police sergeant almost two blocks, leaving him so badly injured that he was placed on life support once he arrived at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Shortly after arrival, the 27-year-veteran of the BPD was in critical condition.

“He is critically ill. He is on full life support. Our diagnostic studies are ongoing,” said Dr. Thomas M. Scalea of Shock Trauma. 

Mayor Brandon Scott said:

“I hear a lot about what our police officers in Baltimore aren’t doing and what they won’t do, but what we have tonight is a sergeant who is on life support here at Shock Trauma because he was exactly where he should have been, doing exactly what he should have been doing. We have to understand where this happened.

This is a neighborhood in a particular block that has had issues with violence for as long as I’ve been breathing. Having spent a significant amount of my childhood in that neighborhood, having spent a lot of time on that block particularly, we have to understand why our officers are there.” 

The unidentified officer was upgraded to fair condition after surgery.

As police searched for Black, they issued a memo saying that he was to be “considered armed and dangerous” after BPD officers said they observed a gun in the vehicle.

According to the Baltimore Sun, police finally tracked him down and he barricaded himself in a home, beginning a standoff.

SWAT arrived and officers on scene issued a shelter in place for those in the neighborhood. That order lasted nearly 6 hours before they were able to get him into custody.

Black surrendered without incident, and reportedly admitted to striking the officer with his car in an attempt to flee the scene.

“Frankly an individual who had no business being out, who should have still been behind bars, was out wreaking havoc on the streets of Baltimore yet again,” Scott concluded.

What was Harrison referencing?

Turns out Joseph Black has somewhat of a checkered past.

According to the Sun:

“In 2006, Black also pleaded guilty to armed robbery. The judge in that case sentenced him to five years behind bars with four years suspended and three years of supervised probation. In 2011 and 2012, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault charges in two separate cases.

And in 2015, he pleaded guilty to a gun charge. He was in prison on that conviction until January 2019, according to information from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.”

While that seems like a lot, it seems there is more to Black’s criminal story. When he was arrested in this most recent incident, he was a suspect in the June 14th shooting death of Darrell Fulton.

But it is the period between his 2019 release and today that Harrison was alluding to specifically.

In late 2021, Black was freed from jail after he pleaded guilty on charges stemming from two separate cases. In each of those instances, he was arrested for attempted murder and other violent counts. In one case the charges included attempted first-degree murder. In the second, he was charged with 33 different counts.

And, in both instances, he was able to plea bargain his way into charges of illegal gun possession by a felon. He was sentenced 15 years in prison, with all but time served suspended and was then released on supervised probation, which he was still serving at the time of his most recent arrest.

With all of that violence in his past, he spent roughly 5 years behind bars.

And now, police say he tried to kill a cop.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison spoke regarding the suspect.

“When we talk about repeat violent offenders, this is what we are referring to,” Harrison clarified. “Black has been arrested at least 19 times as an adult with little or no regard for consequences.”

When asked how it was possible for Black to be on the street, Harrison did not hold back, first saying he couldn’t answer the question.

“It was a great question. I just believe you’re asking it to the wrong person,” added Harrison, in reference to the prosecutors’ discretion regarding the plea deals.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said the issue stemmed from a lack of victim and witness participation.

“This is a problem that I have outlined for a number of years,” she said.

“We have to break down these barriers of distrust. Despite the unprecedented challenges in our court system with a massive backload in criminal cases and the lure of higher pay and lighter caseloads in neighboring offices, my prosecutors continue to deliver justice day in and day out to the citizens of Baltimore City.”

Given his violent criminal history and his repeated propensity for possessing a firearm as a felon, many are left wondering just exactly where the justice is when it comes to Joseph Black.

“This highlights the need to step up our rehabilitation and reentry work because clearly someone who was in and out of prison for years wasn’t properly being prepared to reenter into our society,” Mayor Scott said.

Police sergeant dragged by suspect's car was placed on life support, and the suspect is finally in custody - again.

For more on what is happening in Baltimore as crime rates rise, we invite you to

DIG DEEPER

As crime explodes in Baltimore, Democrats roll out new plan for cops: less responding to crime, more being friendly

BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Police Department is looking to transition away from a response-centric department. Mayor Brandon Scott and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison have released a plan that would take policing in the city back to the turn of the 20th century.

The intent is to allow officers to walk their patrol and engage with neighborhood residents and community members. The program is called S.M.A.R.T. and stands for Strategic Management & Alternative Response Tactics.

While the initiative doesn’t completely shut down response-driven policing, the city does hope to use non-law enforcement resources to manage some of that work.

According to WJZ:

“Traffic incidents that do not involve injury or drunken driving will be outsourced to a third party the city has hired or handled online. Social workers will respond to some mental health crises; some minor crimes will be handled online-only or over the phone.”

Even traffic accidents that do not involve injuries or drunk driving will also be outsourced to a group that the city has contracted with.

All of these measures are meant to reduce the amount of time that officers are spending on non-emergency calls such as shoplifting, stolen property, stolen property and “nuisance” calls.

Commissioner Harrison said, “It does not mean that we are giving up on crime. It only means that the initial response changes.”

Policing through the program will “free up officers to walk the beat and build relationships in the community,” according to the mayor.

“This is about using our resources in an effective and efficient manner,” Scott said. “Our patrol officers should be patrolling. We have grown a culture in Baltimore, over many generations, where they are not patrol officers — they are call-takers. We want to go back to the days where we can have our patrol officers being just that.”

The department is also looking to make certain positions a civilian role. Starting in FY23, which starts in July, BPD is hoping to hire 35 civilian investigators to manage the detective work for things like cold cases, low-level crimes, internal affairs inquiries and background checks.

They are looking to add an additional 135 staff members over the following two fiscal periods. Those individuals would fill roles in everything from fleet vehicle maintenance to public relations to police academy instructors.

Harrison said that these changes would also be beneficial for law enforcement, noting that these new hires would not be at the expense of sworn officer’s positions, but will be added to enhance the department’s capabilities.

“It helps with job satisfaction and retention because our members often prefer to be out on the streets policing and patrolling and deterring crimes and apprehending people who commit them, rather than just going from call to call to write reports,” he said.

But not everyone is convinced that this new initiative will address the violent crime issues in the city.

Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, has some questions.

“I don’t know whether it’s smart or it’s dumb. I just hope that they’ll do something about the violent crime and stop the shootings that are taking place every day,” Hogan said.

“It’s a pretty simple plan: Arrest more, prosecute more and sentence more. Keep them in jail and take the violent repeat offenders off the streets. I don’t know what their plan did today, but I’m not sure it’s going to address that.”

Scott said the plan addresses the governor’s concerns.

“We know that every time you’re able to take your report faster, every time you’re able to put another sworn officer out on the streets, that has an impact,” he said.

But not everyone is convinced that social workers or civilian detectives are the right approach.

But the department is doubling down by pushing residents to file police reports online. But you have to answer no to all 10 questions.

  1. Is this an emergency?
  2. Are there any known suspects?
  3. Are there any witnesses who observed the incident or who could provide information leading to the identity of the suspect?
  4. Is the crime in progress?
  5. Has the incident already been reported to police by phone or in person?
  6. Did the incident occur less than 30 minutes ago?
  7. Did the incident occur outside of Baltimore City?
  8. Is there any evidence or fingerprints for police to collect?
  9. Is the incident a hate or bias crime? (A hate or bias crime is an act that appears to be motivated or is perceived by the victim to be motivated all or in part by race, color, religious beliefs, national origin, ethnic background, sexual orientation or disability.)
  10. Did the incident occur on a state freeway?

The online reporting system seems to indicate that many instances will still require dispatch and officers will respond…kind of like they do now, only they will be doing a lot more walking.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

These are ideas that Baltimore’s mayor has been toying with for some time. We invite you to look at our previous coverage of this topic.

DIG DEEPER

Report: Leftist Mayor Brandon Scott announces elimination of sworn officer vacancies, replaces them with “civilian investigators”

 

BALTIMORE, MD- According to a reports, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has announced plans to start hiring civilians as investigators to help Baltimore police detectives solve low-level offenses.

Under the proposal, Baltimore’s police budget would increase by $5 million, as the plan calls for 35 investigators and other support staff to assist with an anti-violence initiative.

During a briefing for media, city budget director Bob Cenname said that the $560.4 million proposed allocation for the police department calls for eliminating 30 vacant sworn police officer positions and replacing them with the civilian investigator positions.

Cenname said that the civilians would help detectives and patrol officers in completing investigations by tracking down leads and searching databases.

The mayor said he predicts an immediate impact as soon as the program starts. The new 35-member civilian detective corps is allegedly designed to allow sworn officers to focus more on violent crime in the city. Commissioner Michael Harrison said in a statement:

“It helps us with speed and it helps us with frequency. We can get to cases faster and we can take on more cases at the same time by adding this capacity. Speed and frequency helps us arrive at deterring crime. It helps us arrive at apprehending people who commit crime and holding them accountable.”

The civilian detectives will manage low-level property crimes, work cold cases, do background checks and intelligence gathering, and handle internal affairs matters. Scott said in a statement:

“This is about allowing our sworn folks to be focused on what our residents want them to be focused on, and that’s the violence that is happening in the city. Allowing the civilians to do administrative functions, we can then focus our wonderful sworn folks out on the streets of Baltimore, which we know will have an impact.”

Reportedly, civilian detective corps personnel will be trained in police policies as well as state and local laws. They will also learn basic investigative techniques and tactics. The starting annual salary will be $49,000. Harrison said in a statement:

“These investigative specialists would be used broadly throughout the agency and they could be used as a national model for how law enforcement agencies build capacity on a parallel path to sworn officers.”

Sworn police officers start at just $60,000 under the newly-signed contract with the city. According to reports, Baltimore has reached 300 or more homicides for the past seven years and is on pace to experience a similar total for 2022.

The police department has been reportedly working to hire more civilians to help address the effects of officer shortages. There are currently 2,274 sworn officers and 519 civilian employees. However, that is below the budgeted 2,640 sworn officers and 615 civilian positions.

According to the department, 70 sworn officers have left the department while 26 were hired this year through March. As part of an ongoing federal consent decree from 2017, the department is required to adequately staff patrol, investigations, and internal affairs positions.

In the past, the department has relied heavily on overtime, spending nearly $50 million. However, in recent years, Harrison has put in place measures to rein in costs and for this fiscal year, police overtime is projected at $34 million.

 

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First

 

Share:
Submit a Correction
Related Posts