Baltimore City Power Rankings: Up for another successful Preakness, down for developers, SAO, and Trump's Amerikkka

Lady Justice
(Alex Fine)

⬆︎ The Preakness

Bemoaning the state of Pimlico Race Course has become an annual tradition for the Stronach Group, the owners of the North Baltimore track and Laurel Park. But once again Stronach touted a record-breaking crowd and betting handle for the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown that started at Pimlico in 1873 and has been held at the track every year since 1909. The Maryland Jockey Club reported that 140,327 people came to Old Hilltop to see Cloud Computing's upset win, and bettors wagered $97,168,658 on the 14-race card. Pimlico certainly needs a lot of work, and the violence in the neighborhood outside the track in the days ahead of the race highlights the need for greater investment in Park Heights. But as one community leader put it, "If you had the Super Bowl in your backyard every year, you would never let it go." This year's record numbers show why the race should remain in Baltimore.



A couple of weeks ago, the Baltimore City Police Department told us that they'd received the results of an investigation done by the Montgomery and Howard County police departments into the officers that were involved with Freddie Gray's 2015 in-custody death. While the results of that review remain under wraps, sources at the BPD let it slip to the Baltimore Sun that five of the six officers involved in the incident will face discipline. Officer Caesar Goodson, Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt. Alicia White could lose their jobs over the incident. Officers Edward Nero and Garret Miller face five days of suspension without pay. Officer William Porter, the Sun reported, won't face any internal discipline. Punishments, obviously, are a good thing. But…five days suspension? Really?

⬇︎ Trump's Amerikkka

Richard Collins III, 23, should have been graduating from Bowie State University this week. He was murdered over the weekend by a white University of Maryland student who, police have said, is a member of a racist Facebook group. Somehow, the suspect's participation in the group isn't enough for police to designate his death as a hate crime yet. As of press time, they've said they are investigating. Meanwhile, Collins' family will begin the drawn-out process of waiting and hoping for justice. The suspect, 22-year-old Sean Christopher Urbanski, is facing first-degree murder charges and is held without bail. Collins "was not a thug," Rev. Darryl L. Godlock, who is serving as a spokesperson for the family, said about Collins. He shouldn't have to defend the victim at all. But we know how these things go.

⬇︎ Regent Co., LLC

Last week the Baltimore Business Journal published a story, without the least bit of scrutiny, about an Alexandria, Va., developer who said he had a plan for investing $10 billion (yes, with a "b") in Baltimore. Kahan S. Dhillon Jr. boldly named his plan "The Baltimore Renaissance." Dhillon himself called Baltimore a "blank canvas," and his plan says it will "produce historical record setting outcomes that will be felt in the city for many generations to come." Who those outcomes are for and how any of this is calculated remains unclear. Of course, it needs to be said that calling the city a "blank canvas" is pretty dismissive of all the flesh-and-blood people who live and struggle in this city—that kind of statement makes it sound like they're not there at all. Or maybe that pushing these people out won't be such as a bad thing. The BBJ notes that Dhillon had a hand in planning the D.C.-area exurb Tysons Corner, which is one more reason to give this plan a hard pass.

⬇︎ State's Attorney's Office

Last week, the Keith Davis Jr. murder trial ended in a mistrial, in a case that found the SAO's prosecution rather limp—though they said they'll be retrying Davis, whose case has been the focus for activist group Baltimore Bloc. In another case, The Sun's Justin Fenton observed an SAO attorney accidentally ask for the wrong sentence, and in yet another case, alleged Memorial Day shooter David Warren was found not guilty—the tenth attempted murder charge Warren has beaten. And lastly, Netflix doc "The Keepers," about the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, makes a fairly strong argument that Sharon May, the state's attorney in the '90s, "ran interference" to prevent a full investigation of clergy members who might have been involved with Cesnik's death, even as instances of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church came to light. That's four L's if you count the retroactive one.