Zurawik: Firebombing suspect's social-media moves a sign the revolution is being live-streamed

George Nilson

Baltimore police under state control for good reason

Baltimore police under state control for good reason

There is an ongoing public discussion of the nature of the Baltimore Police Department's status as a governmental agency — both historically and going forward. I write in the hope of shedding some useful light on this seemingly mundane but substantively important question.

The Baltimore Police Department was made a state agency in 1860 for historically interesting reasons having to do with the General Assembly's strong desire to separate our local police agency from the vicissitudes of local political control. The legislature was "disappointed" with the consequences of that local control. The police department continued to be largely funded by the city, and over the...

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