Leave Fred­die Gray of­fi­cers alone

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Robert L. DiSte­fano, Abing­don

I can see that there are those in­clud­ing The Sun and Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Kevin Davis who are sali­vat­ing at the prospect of plac­ing the po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved in the death of Fred­die Gray in jeop­ardy once again (“Com­mis­sioner Davis’ prob­lem,” Oct. 3). It mat­ters not that the of­fi­cers were pre­ma­turely charged be­fore a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been con­cluded or that it was sim­i­larly ob­vi­ous that they would be ac­quit­ted. It is also quite ob­vi­ous that this Mr. Davis is “owned” by Mayor Stephanie Rawl­ings-Blake and did not have the in­testi­nal for­ti­tude to at least ques­tion the “quick call” when crim­i­nal charges were al­most im­me­di­ately placed.

Com­mis­sioner Davis did not im­me­di­ately jump to pro­claim his of­fi­cers not guilty. That would have been pre­ma­ture and wrong. But what he could and should have done was to im­me­di­ately ques­tion the wis­dom of plac­ing such se­ri­ous charges with­out the ben­e­fit of a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the facts. He had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to his “troops” and he failed them and con­tin­ues to fail them to­day. If he al­lows these of­fi­cers to face jeop­ardy again in front of some kan­ga­roo “civil­ian” trial, he will be re­mem­bered as a de­spi­ca­ble ex­cuse of a chief ex­ec­u­tive. And if he con­venes a de­part­men­tal trial board in those cases, he will be even worse.

I re­call when Bal­ti­more had a real po­lice com­mis­sioner by the name of Don­ald D. Pomer­leau. Dur­ing his ten­ure, Bal­ti­more was also blessed with a very pow­er­ful and of­ten in­tim­i­dat­ing po­lit­i­cal leader, Mayor Wil­liam Don­ald Schae­fer. Com­mis­sioner Pomer­leau was never owned, not even by Mayor Schae­fer who was a much more force­ful and in­tim­i­dat­ing leader than the cur­rent mayor. Com­mis­sioner Pomer­leau is prob­a­bly do­ing flip flops in his grave in Ar­ling­ton, Va., as he sees what is un­fold­ing here in Bal­ti­more.

I would say this to the cur­rent com­mis­sioner: Judge Barry Wil­liams gave you your out when he found those of­fi­cers not guilty, and that should be more than enough. Con­ven­ing any trial boards con­cern­ing those same of­fi­cers is akin to giv­ing in to the call for vengeance against them. If the com­mis­sioner does that, he should be ashamed.

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