Baltimore's solution to police brutality: Business as usual [Letter]

Following The Sun's excellent report on the use of undue force by the Baltimore Police ("Baltimore leaders call for change following investigation into alleged police brutality," Sept. 28), Baltimore immediately launched the typical five point program.

Phase One: We need a technological solution. Let's put cameras on all the cops!

Phase Two: We need tougher laws and accountability. It's the mayors fault!! It's the City Councils fault!! Let's increase the penalties for bad cops!

Phase Three: We need better training. Let's revamp the police training so cops will know that they shouldn't hit defenseless people.

Phase Four: We have an organizational and cultural problem. Let's hire some consultants to write a report recommending a realignment of the police department in a way different from the last report recommending a realignment of the police department. (Allow $1 million, give or take.)

And soon we will come to Phase Five: Resume business as usual. The furor will die down. Another scandal will arise to take over the headlines. Sure, the internal investigations will be filed and maybe a few senior officials will retire, but nothing will change.

Somehow we never get to Phase Six: Fundamental changes in the laws and policies that cast police as the enemies to the public and the public as the enemies to the police. If we would consider reform of petty laws and penalties aimed at punishment instead of rehabilitation, if we would institute policies that focus on jobs and education instead of heavy handed enforcement, we might break the cycle. But it is much more likely that we can look forward to another excellent expose in 2019 or 2020, assuming that there is still a Sun to report it. Repeat phase Five: Business as Usual.

Mac Nachlas, Baltimore

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