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