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Police Union: Baltimore Leadership Put Officers And City In Harm’s Way During Riots

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Casey Harper Contributor
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A Baltimore police union lambasted the Baltimore Police Department in a comprehensive review of the Baltimore riots released Wednesday, accusing the department of putting residents in harm’s way and of humiliating the officers.

The accusations come after reports that Baltimore police were told to stand down during the riots, most notably Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s comment that she “gave those who wished to destroy space room to do that.”

The report also accuses Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, saying he “severely slowed officers’ ability to effect arrests and to prevent situations from escalating.”

“Baltimore City FOP Lodge #3 contends that the Baltimore Police Department’s lack of concern for the health and welfare of its officers placed them in harm’s way,” the report states. “Additionally, the community who relies on the Baltimore Police Department for their safety and security was placed in jeopardy.”

The report goes on, noting the effect the department’s leadership has had on rank-and-file officers..

“The morale of the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department has suffered greatly,” the report states. “In addition to physical injury, officers feel a lack of support from the Department and report feeling ‘humiliated’ and ‘dejected’ as a result of what occurred and what they experienced during the riots. A significant percentage reported that they are considering resigning or retiring within the next one to two years.”

The report points out that riots led to more than 200 injured police officers and millions of dollars in property damage, including arson and looting.

“The predominant characterizations of Baltimore Police Department leadership during the riots by officers surveyed were that they seemed unprepared, politically motivated, uncaring and confused,” the report states.

The lodge said the report was issued as an effort toward transparency and took a shot at leadership, saying “neither Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake nor Police Commissioner Anthony Batts were undertaking their own version of this best practice.”

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