From The Atlantic:
A Department of Justice report finds widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement, and a culture of retaliation.
DAVID A. GRAHAM AUG 10, 2016
… In the wake of the failed prosecution of six officers for the death of Freddie Gray, the report serves as a reminder that rather than an isolated crime, the Gray case was symptomatic of a force that regularly arrested people for insufficient reasons, or no reasons at all, and used excessive force against them—but particularly, and uniquely, black citizens of the city. The Justice Department makes clear that African Americans in Baltimore were targeted and abused by the police, making this report a twin to the department’s report on Ferguson, Missouri, which my colleague Conor Friedersdorf wrote indicated a “conspiracy against black citizens.”
From the New York Times last January:
The Numbers Behind Baltimore’s Record Year in Homicides
By JESS BIDGOOD JAN. 15, 2016
Searching for answers in the deadliest year in Baltimore’s history
After the April death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died from injuries sustained while detained by the Baltimore police, the city had its worst riots in more than four decades. Now, the city is waiting warily as legal proceedings against the six officers charged in Mr. Gray’s death move through the courts. But Baltimore is also in the throes of another crisis: A sharp increase in homicides that, by the end of the year, left the city with the highest per-capita murder rate in its history. …
In 2014, Baltimore had 211 homicides, which the Police Department said was the city’s second-lowest number since 1972. By the end of 2015, the number of homicides rose to 344.
But who cares about the Black Lives Matter movement inspiring a 63% increase in murder victims? The problem with Baltimore, according to the Justice Department, is too much law and order.
A commenter at The Atlantic offered a dissenting perspective:
petefrombaltimore • 3 hours ago
I was riding in a truck through Northeast Baltimore, today. And saw dozens of young men openly selling drugs. And saw at least 5 different women selling themselves on the streets for drug money.
So I’m confused about this narrative of Baltimore being some sort of authoritarian society? What I see on a regular basis is cop cars driving right past drug dealers. 911 operators refusing to send police officers to scenes of crimes in progress. Even when 5 or 6 people on a block call to complain about a fight, or drug dealing. And I’ve personally seen young kids ride illegal motor bikes right in front of police. To the point that they popped wheelies about 20 inches from a cops face. And laughed at the cop while they taunted him with the wheelie
Pot is openly smoked in Baltimore. Many streets and local parks reek of pot smoke.
Young teens openly walk through alleys. Looking into each back yard. Looking for things to steal. Or walk up to each car on the street. Blatantly peering into he car or trying the lock.
I wish that Baltimore was as authoritarian as David Grahm claims. But the sad fact is that criminals in Baltimore are pretty much allowed to do whatever they want to. Up to, and including, burning down a CVS while the police are told to stay out of the way