Baltimore must pursue discipline for Gray officers
May 31, 2017 | 3:35 PM
In the Sunpaper dated May 26, R.F. Ruhr of Laurel opined in a letter, "Don't fire Gray Officers," deeming it "nonsense" that they are facing internal
In the Sunpaper dated May 26, R.F. Ruhr of Laurel opined in a letter, "Don't fire Gray Officers," deeming it "nonsense" that they are facing internal discipline. In another letter on May 27, Ralph Jaffe of Baltimore, opines, we should "stop harassing Freddie Gray Officers!"
To both, I say, it is neither harassment nor "nonsense" to hold officers accountable for their actions when a death occurs of someone in their custody! If you're suggesting we need more officers like those involved in Gray's death, then I hope you get them where you live! We don't need them in Baltimore City or any other city. Would either of the writers be so willing to "move on" if your family was involved?
Having served 31 1/2 years in the Baltimore Police Department, I can attest there were officers, supervisors, and command figures who should have been fired, and they weren't. As a result, the city repeatedly paid out settlements. I walked foot posts in so-called "high crime areas, made thousands of arrests, and interacted with residents constantly. I never had a problem, and I received cooperation from them because I showed them respect and, when I had to make an arrest, I only did what was necessary to effect the arrest. More important, I didn't lie on them when I wrote my probable cause!
To suggest there be no further action taken regarding these officers will ensure continued distrust between the public and officers. At some point, the inability to sanction officer misconduct, will only ensure continued conflict. No one is suggesting all officers are corrupt. However, there is that minority who seek to depend on the "Blue Shield of Silence" to mask their misconduct. It is their actions which is the root cause of the public's lack of trust in the department.