Baltimore cops to CNN: Residents asked for ‘softer’ police dept. and they’re getting it

[sharenow]

For Baltimore residents, the surge in crime in their city is a reminder to be careful what you ask for.

At least that’s the take of two Baltimore police officers, who appeared anonymously on CNN early Wednesday to say residents demanded a “softer” police force and now they’re getting it.

“I think the public really, really sees that they asked for a softer, less aggressive police department, and we have given them that, and now they are realizing that their way of thinking does not work,” one of the officers said.

Sounds more like the city is being taught a painful lesson.

The officer explained that criminals know police are simply reacting to events instead of being proactive, and are taking advantage of it.

“The criminal element feels as though we’re not going to run the risk of chasing them if they’re armed with a gun, and they are using this opportunity to settle old beefs, or scores, with people that they have conflict with,” he added.

The second officer denied that a work slowdown is happening, but said criminals are the only ones benefiting from police being less proactive.

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“Even though you have reasonable suspicion…nine out of 10 times, that officer is going to keep on driving,” he said.

“Ultimately, it does a disservice to the law-abiding citizens,” the officer said. “It does a disservice to the business owners. It does a disservice to everybody except the criminal element.”

With violent crime reaching record levels in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore police Lt. Kenneth Butler told CNN worry has overtaken a lot of officers.

“They feel as though, if I make a mistake — which we all do make mistakes — then what is this administration going to do to me?” said Butler, who is also president of the Vanguard Justice Society, an advocacy organization for black police officers.

“Am I going to be the next one to be suspended? Am I going to be the next one who is going to be criminally charged?”

It’s a question that brings the focus back to Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby once again — an occurrence that’s beginning to rival the surge in crime in frequency.

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[sharenow]
Tom Tillison

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