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Tag: Baltimore

Justice Department: Baltimore Police Routinely Violated Civil Rights of Residents

baltimore police departmentBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Justice Department investigation determined that Baltimore police often are quick to stop, search, arrest and use excessive force on black residents who often did nothing wrong.

The investigation, prompted by the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, found deficiencies in training, supervision and policies “that fail to equip officers with the tools they need to police effectively and within the bounds of federal law,” the Baltimore Sun reports. 

Part of the problem stems from a zero-tolerance policy that encouraged officers to make a lot of stops, searches and arrest without the proper training.

The investigators concluded that “supervisors have issued explicitly discriminatory orders, such as directing a shift to arrest ‘all the black hoodies’ in a neighborhood.”

Police practices in Baltimore “perpetuate and fuel a multitude of issues rooted in poverty and race, focusing law enforcement actions on low-income, minority communities” and encourage officers to have “unnecessary, adversarial interactions with community members,” the report said.

FBI Released Aerial Video Footage of Baltimore Protests

FBI surveillance video from the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.

FBI surveillance video from the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI captured more than 18 hours of aerial surveillance video from the Baltimore protests following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.

The video was shot from traditional piloted aircraft, not drones.

The videos were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by the ACLU.

The raw video is available at the FBI’s website.

The FBI has been using surveillance planes since the 1970s.

Other Stories of Interest

Trial Begins for 1 of 6 Baltimore Cops Accused in Death of Freddie Gray

Freddie Gray protest, via Wikipedia.

Freddie Gray protest, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The closely watched trial in Freddie Gray’s death began Monday with jury selection for the first police officer to trial, the Associated Press reports. 

The trial is expected to resume today in Baltimore Circuit Court in a case that fueled the Black Lives Matter movement.

Six officers have been charged in the death of 25-year-old Gray, a black man who died while in police custody.

William Porter, who is also black, is accused of refusing to get medical treatment for Gray during a 45-minute trip in a police van.

Gray died of a severe spinal injury sustained while in police custody.

The AP reported that Porter is the first being tried because he could be a potential witness.

FBI Director James Comey Announces 3 Key Leadership Appointments

Kevin Perkins/FBI photo

Kevin Perkins/FBI photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James B. Comey has made three key leadership appointments, including a new special agent in charge of the FBI Baltimore Division.

Comey made the announcement Thursday.

Kevin Perkins, who served three year as associated deputy director, will take the helm in Baltimore to replace retiring Stephen Vogt.

Mr. Perkins entered on duty as a special agent in January 1986. He previously served in the Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore Divisions in a variety of investigative and leadership positions. Mr. Perkins previously served as the special agent in charge in Baltimore from January 2004 to February 2006.

Mr. Perkins’ executive leadership positions included serving as assistant director for the Criminal Investigative Division, the Inspection Division, and the Finance Division, where he also served as chief financial officer of the FBI.

Andrew McCabe

Andrew McCabe

Comey also announced that Andrew McCabe, who served as assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office, was named as associate deputy director at FBI headquarters.

McCabe has a host of experience, but primarily has focused on counterterrorism and counterintelligence over the past decade.

McCabe was a lawyer in the private practice before joining the FBI.

Paul Abbate

Paul Abbate

Comey also announced the appointment of Paul M. Abbate as assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office.

Abbate has served as special agent in charge of the Detroit Division since October 2013. He also served much of his time focusing on counterterrorism and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Baltimore Landfill Workers Accused of Taking Kickbacks, Stealing Scrap Metal

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A two-year investigation into the Baltimore landfills has led to the arrests of five employees accused to taking bribes and stealing scrap metal, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The workers were arrested and charged in U.S. District Court following several raids.

Some are accused of taking bribes from commercial haulers in exchange for using the facility without paying disposal fees.

Some workers also are accused to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of scrap metal from the landfills.

Public Works Director Rudy Chow wouldn’t comment directly on the charges but said “there is no room for unethical or illegal behavior in the Baltimore City Department of Public Works.”

ACLU Raises Concerns About FBI Secretly Using Aircraft to Keep Eye on Baltimore Riots

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has acknowledged that it sent aircraft into the sky to watch over rioting in Baltimore.

The news comes after numerous sightings of aircraft over the city.

The FBI told the Baltimore Sun that the aircraft was intended to monitor criminal activity.

“The aircraft were specifically used to assist in providing high-altitude observation of potential criminal activity to enable rapid response by police officers on the ground,” Amy Thoreson, an FBI spokeswoman, said. “The FBI aircraft were not there to monitor lawfully protected first amendment activity.”

The ACLU was not happy and filed a request for records for more information.

“These are not your parents’ surveillance aircraft,” said Jay Stanley, an ACLU analyst. “Today planes can carry new surveillance technologies, like cell phone trackers and high resolution cameras that can follow the movements of many people at once.

“These are not the kinds of things that law enforcement should be using in secret.”

Baltimore Mayor Asks for Full-Scale Civil Rights Investigation of Police Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In an unusual move for a city, Baltimore’s mayor is asking for a full-scale civil rights investigation into alleged abuse within the police department following a riot over the police-involved death of Freddie Gray and other black suspects.

“We all know that Baltimore continues to have a fractured relationship between the police and the community,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, reports the Baltimore Sun. “I’m willing to do what it takes to reform my department.”

Spokeswoman Dena Iverson said Attorney General Loretta Lynch “is actively considering that option in light of what she heard from law enforcement, city officials and community, faith and youth leaders in Baltimore.”

The Justice Department has conducted investigations of police departments in 20 cities, including Cleveland and New Orleans.

The investigations typically take 18 to 24 months.

ATF Finds Crude Explosives in Aftermath of Riots, Arsons, Looting

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF found at least two crude explosive devises in Baltimore while investigating the destructive fires during Monday’s rioting, ABC reports. 

The devices were assembled with a small propane tank and charcoal in a bottle, material that was looted Monday, ATF said.

The devices were made to explode after being lit .

Authorities are reviewing countless hours of footage that was taken during the riots in hopes of catching the suspects.

There were seven fires during the riot.

Other Stories of Interest