November 25, 2013 10:13 am ET
Video evidence reportedly at States Attorney’s office for review
Source: Allegations of Police Brutality
Unlike some of the recent scandals that have rocked the Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore County has remained relatively unscathed. However, if the information I have garnered turns out to be factual that image will surely take a hit and that is why the department must act decisively in adjudicating this matter. Furthermore, the key to damage control will lie in the transparency that are the building blocks of the trust between law enforcement and the community.
In the interest of fairness I will not reveal any information on either the officer involved or the area, other than to say it was not the North Point Precinct.
Last week, I received a confidential tip regarding an alleged police brutality case. According to my sources, an officer allegedly assaulted a shackled prisoner by kicking the prisoner in the upper torso and head area and it was all filmed by the precincts security cameras.
My sources told me that after the officer realized the incident was caught on tape, he turned himself into Internal Affairs (IA) voluntarily. My source also stated the tape was forwarded to the States Attorney’s office for review. I want to note that this course of action typically is taken when IA decides that the case may warrant possible criminal charges.
As with any of my posts, I sought to get confirmation of the incident before going public. I sent an email to the Baltimore County Police Department seeking comment, and they responded to my email rather promptly. I redacted certain information because of the ongoing investigation.
“BCoPD is conducting an internal investigation involving a (redacted) with the last name of (redacted). I assume this is the person you mean; there is no (redacted) in BCoPD. Under Maryland law, internal investigations are personnel matters; the nature of the investigation therefore is not public information.”
This was a correct response from the media relations section since the matter is under investigation and to my knowledge no charges have been placed at the time of this blog. The department should not release any information on the investigation until it is complete.
With all of that said, we have the who (though I’m not releasing that information now), what, where and when regarding the situation.
But we are missing the “why.”
I asked my sources why an officer would do so such a thing, knowing the possible consequences. The sources said that the act was done almost as an impulse. At the time of the alleged incident, the prisoner was handcuffed and shackled to a chair. Without trying to sound judgmental, there is no toughness or fortitude required to assault a defenseless person.
My initial thought is that the officer did not realize all of this was being recorded. After all, who would possibly commit such a senseless act knowing the numerous issues that would lie ahead, such as criminal charges and loss of employment, just to name two? Have people completely forgotten the word “accountability?”
Honestly, I take no pleasure in writing this blog. Having worn the uniform for 39 years, I am a staunch supporter of those who walk the thin blue line. However, if is for those men in blue—the ones who risk their lives every day—that I write about this situation, which must be handled and adjudicated in a timely fashion.
And for those detractors that wonder why I would write about this issue, I want to remind you of the following: I receive many calls from a good number of sources involving a variety of topics, and I feel a certain responsibility to write what I believe is the truth. And I do so because, after doing this for years now, those that take the risk to send me information count on me to allow their voices to be heard.
In my next post, I will write about crisis in the police Tactical Unit.
As per my policy, I will attempt to obtain the issues surrounding the units problems in writing.
As I always say, “Stay tuned.”