Bal­ti­more po­lice of­fi­cer is a tough job, treat it as such

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By David Plymyer

The task of per­suad­ing ju­rors in the City of Bal­ti­more that they can rely on the ve­rac­ity of of­fi­cers of the Bal­ti­more Po­lice Depart­ment re­cently has gone from dif­fi­cult to nearly im­pos­si­ble be­cause re­form of the depart­ment is not mov­ing fast enough. Only dra­matic changes are go­ing to fix the prob­lems, and only dra­matic changes are go­ing to re­store the trust­wor­thi­ness of BPDof­fi­cers in the minds of city res­i­dents.

Mean­while, the hole the BPD is dig­ging for it­self keeps get­ting deeper.

The ac­quit­tal of Richard Gibbs Jr. in June on charges in­clud­ing felony posses­sion of a hand­gun was a warn­ing that the lack of cred­i­bil­ity of BPD of­fi­cers was ap­proach­ing cri­sis pro­por­tions. Two BPD of­fi­cers tes­ti­fied that, af­ter Mr. Gibbs was pulled over for driv­ing with an “oblit­er­ated” li­cense plate, they saw him reach down to the floor for a gun and then saw a gun fly onto the hood of the car. His DNA was found on the gun.

Yet the jury ac­quit­ted Mr. Gibbs af­ter only three hours of de­lib­er­a­tion, ap­par­ently con­vinced by de­fense ar­gu­ments that the de­fen­dant’s DNA was planted on the gun and the gun planted on the scene. The pres­i­dent of the city’s Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice said he was “stunned” by the ac­quit­tal. Ex­pe­ri­enced court­room ob­servers were not.

With the re­lease in July of body-worn

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.