September 26, 2017

Baltimore: Clueless

credit: legal insurrection
credit: legal insurrection

By: Mike McDaniel    Since the criminal trial portion of the Mosby-Induced disaster in Baltimore, willing observers have had a re-education about the nature of progressive governance. It wasn’t enough to destroy the relationship between the citizens of Baltimore and the police, between rank and file officers and their supervisors and administrators, between the police and the politicians ruling the city, and America’s police and the nation. Federal, Maryland and Baltimore politicians have continued to further damage those relationships, and are on the path to achieving the kinds of progressive miracles that have made Detroit what it is today. Detroit may sue for copyright violation. We begin with The Daily Mail:

“For the first time in nearly 20 years, Baltimore has suffered more than 100 homicides before the end of April.

The city recorded its 100th murder on Monday, followed hours later by another homicide that brings the total count to 101.

The violence has not relented since 32 homicides were recorded in January, the most in that month since 2005.

Baltimore has not seen 100 homicides before the end of April since 1998.”

Golly! What could be causing that?

“The violence here began to spike in the spring of 2015, following civil unrest prompted by the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.”

I’ve written about this before. Every officer than can has fled Baltimore, more are working hard to make flight possible, and few , honest, competent people want to be Baltimore Officers. Recruiting quality candidates is virtually impossible.

“Essentially, Baltimore is seeing a shortage of officers and recruitment that can’t keep pace with those leaving the force.

Throughout the 2000s, Baltimore never had fewer than 2,900 officers, but now the total is down 2,500.”

Keep in mind that to put a single additional officer on the street, 24/7/365 requires hiring at least four officers, three to work three eight-hour shifts and one to cover illness, court, vacations, training and other absences, and you begin to see the problem Baltimore politicians have created. Baltimore’s new Mayor, Catherine Pugh, is absolutely clueless, as The Baltimore Sun reports:

Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Davis

“Reflecting on the two years that passed since Freddie Gray’s arrest, Mayor Catherine Pugh said fundamental changes have been made to the way the police department operates but the city needs to get a handle on the drug trade to fully transform certain communities. [skip]

‘The CVS has been rebuilt, but has the community changed dramatically?’ Pugh said, speaking about the pharmacy in West Baltimore that was burnt down during the unrest. ‘While I see some things transforming in those neighborhoods … we can’t develop these neighborhoods with so much drug [trafficking] in one area.

‘It just doesn’t work and we have to figure out how do we dismantle some of that.”

Clueless. To be fair, however, Pugh is merely demonstrating slavish adherence to progressive, racist ideology.

“As evidence of change, the mayor pointed to the newly approved consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice that will change the way the police department functions. She also noted that police vans, like the one that transported Gray, are now equipped with new straps and cameras.

Pugh said she is still pushing to add civilians to police trials boards. Legislation before the General Assembly did not pass before the session ended this week, but the mayor said she is pushing for the board additions as part of ongoing negotiations with the police union on a new contract.”

Pugh refers to a federal consent decree pushed through while Barack Obama’s racist Department of Justice was still in office. While current Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called a halt to such things pending a comprehensive review, Baltimore politicians forced the consent decree through a local federal judge, and Baltimore is probably stuck with it. As all such decrees, it prevents the BPD from pro-active policing. In particular, it prevents them from using “stop and frisk,” a long-constitutional means of suppressing drug trafficking and weapons violations. Even if they were allowed to use stop and frisk, virtually no sane BPD officer would dare, particularly if the suspects were black, which virtually all of those involved in Baltimore’s drug trade, and its skyrocketing murder rate, are. Putting civilians on trial boards is a means of stacking such boards with racist progressive activists that will ensure any complaint against an officer will result in social justice rather than the rule of law, and every BPD officer knows it. BPD police administrators go along with the social justice line to keep their jobs. And what is Pugh doing to reduce the murder rate?

“For instance, she said she is looking for a private investor to repair bowling lanes at the Shake and Bake Family Fun Center and to add lights and bleachers to a nearby ball field. A dilapidated church on Fulton Street has been torn down and the Pennsylvania Avenue library branch has recently been renovated with a large job resource center.”

Oh. That’ll certainly slow down the drug trade and prevent murders. What drug dealer isn’t anxious to rush to the library branch to investigate job possibilities that don’t exist in Baltimore?

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“The other thing that troubles me more than anything in that area is the amount of drug [trafficking] and the amount of folks who are just on the streets every single day, who look like they’re not moving toward anything or anywhere.”

The officers persecuted in the Freddie Gray matter were at the specific corner where he was found at the express orders of Marilyn Mosby, who sent them there at the request of her city councilman husband’s constituents upset at the constant drug dealing on that corner. No Baltimore officer is going to make that mistake again, and Pugh and her fellow social justice dimwits certainly aren’t going to allow the police to do anything effective. Clueless.

In the meantime, the inter-departmental persecution of the officers proceeds apace as progressive continue to cry out for social justice. The Baltimore Sun reports yet again:

“The Baltimore Police Department has received the findings from an administrative review of the actions of six city police officers during the arrest and transport of Freddie Gray, which was conducted by police agencies from Montgomery and Howard counties.

But officials are ‘currently reviewing the case’ and will not be releasing or discussing the findings because doing so would be against Maryland laws governing the ‘personnel records’ of police officers, said T.J. Smith, a Baltimore police spokesman.

Mike Davey, an attorney representing the officers and the local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 union, said he and his clients haven’t been given a copy of the findings report, but are confident it will show no wrongdoing on the part of the officers.

‘I’m sure the department will do a thorough review of the findings, and we believe that by the time that’s done, the officers will continue to be cleared of any policy violations,’ Davey said.”

I’m less sure than Mr. Davey. I also doubt this will remain confidential, particularly if any of the officers are due social justice revenge. Any appeal of an adverse ruling by the officers would automatically become public, thanks to a law recently passed by the state legislature. In any case, this portion of the Mosby disaster will continue for the foreseeable future. But that’s not nearly all in the progressive paradise of Baltimore, as The Baltimore Sun, yet again, reports:

“Dozens of Baltimore business owners are suing city officials, including the police department and former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, saying they mishandled the city’s response to the rioting in 2015.

In a nearly 700-page complaint filed in federal court this week, more than 60 plaintiffs say city officials failed to prevent the looting and rioting that erupted after the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in April 2015, despite warnings the city would experience violence.

More than 380 businesses, including many located south of North Avenue in West Baltimore, were damaged or destroyed. Property losses were estimated at nearly $13 million.

The plaintiffs are suing under the Maryland riot act statute, which allows parties to bring a claim against the city for property damage during civil unrest. They name Rawlings-Blake and former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who were in office at the time of the riots, current Mayor Catherine Pugh, the City Council, city police and the state as defendants. They are seeking an unspecified amount in damages.”

And they would be right in doing so. Rawlings-Blake specifically prevented officers from so much as protecting themselves, resulting in many injured officers. She also bragged that she gave the rioters “space to destroy,” though she later tried to walk that back. By then, her credibility and electoral viability was so shot, even in Baltimore, she quickly announced she would not run for re-election.

“The plaintiffs allege that Rawlings-Blake took too long to sign an executive order implementing the city’s emergency plan to protect city residents and property.

‘Widespread rioting was well underway, and much of the property that the executive order was passed to protect was already being destroyed,’ they write.

They say the citywide curfew imposed the next day and the arrival of the Maryland National Guard and other state resources came too late.

‘This lawsuit is the result of the City and the other Defendants failing to do right by these property and business owners,’ Peter K. Hwang, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. ‘The City and other Defendants failed them when they adopted a policy of restraint and issued stand-down orders, caring more about the public perception that they feared would result with increased police presence than preventing what were clearly preventable riots.”

Yes. Here are a few additional examples of their evidence against the City:

“The plaintiffs describe protests that began outside the Western District police station after Gray’s arrest. The complaint includes public comments from Batts and Gov. Larry Hogan acknowledging, days before the riots in Baltimore, other protests that became violent elsewhere in the nation, including in Ferguson, Mo.

The plaintiffs note that leave for police officers was canceled the weekend before Gray’s funeral. The riots erupted on the day of the funeral.

The plaintiffs say officers were instructed to stand down during the rioting. They quote from a Baltimore police union ‘after-action report’ in which the union said officers were told ‘looting is expected. Let it happen.’ [skip]

The plaintiffs quote Rawlings-Blake saying at a news conference that ‘we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”

There is no doubt much more is available to the plaintiffs, such as:

“Hwang said the city used ‘underhanded tactics to try to trick these business and property owners into signing releases’ to limit liability.

The Baltimore Development Corp. started the Baltimore Business Recovery Initiative to provide financial assistance to businesses damaged during the riots. But the plaintiffs say the Storefront Recovery Grant Program offered $5,000 to individual businesses, and required business owners to waive any claims against the city.

‘These waiver provisions were only included when applicants — many of whom could not speak or read English — were provided with hard copies of the applications and asked to sign,’ the plaintiffs say.”

Surely progressives, who care so deeply for the people, particularly black and other minority people, would never do such a thing?

“Baltimore Development Corp. President William Cole said Wednesday he did not remember the legal details of the recovery programs. He referred questions to the city’s law department.”

Of course he doesn’t remember. Who could possibly remember such an insignificant detail? John Chae remembers:

“John Chae, one of the plaintiffs, owned Fireside North Liquors on North Avenue. He said he was attacked by looters with bottles and bricks, knocking him unconscious. He woke up to find his store on fire.

‘I’ve lost so much, my livelihood,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to get something returned so I can get my life back.’

Chae expressed frustration at city officials, who he said did not offer support to rebuild.

Chae said his liquor store suffered about $500,000 in damage, which insurance didn’t fully cover. He said he sold the property but hasn’t recouped his losses.

He has since opened a UPS store in Baltimore County to provide for his family, including a son who was born just before the riots. He has no plans to return to Baltimore.

‘Why would I?’ he said.”

Why indeed. A substantial list of the businesses involved may be found here.

Chae is fortunate to be alive. This is going to cost Baltimore far more money that its citizens have, or likely will have, for decades. The damage to the lives of its citizens, now and future, is incalculable. Mosby’s persecution of the six innocent officers was fully supported by the city’s politicians, until it dramatically crashed and burned and they began to eat each other. By then, the damage was done, damage that may well be permanent. Unless Maryland progressive politicians manage to cheat all of these people out of what is due them, this will merely be one more nail in Baltimore’s coffin.

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Ironic, isn’t it gentle readers, this all began with progressive hatred for the police and cries for their blood. Ironic too is Pugh’s cluelessness about how to restore law and order. Her ideology won’t allow her to so much as consider using lawful and effective police tactics to accomplish that. And doubly ironic is the usual progressive whining about creating minority run and owned businesses and jobs in the inner city, only to allow the violent, criminal and unemployed by choice to destroy those businesses and jobs. Given the chance to properly help and compensate the people they allowed to be destroyed, they tried to screw them. Thus has it ever been with social justice.

The damage begun by progressive articles of faith in Baltimore continues to spread across the nation. Clueless. Maliciously clueless.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.