Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Baltimore Police Chief Says ‘We Are Part of the Problem’

Justin Worland @justinworland
'We haven't been part of the solution, and now we have to evolve."
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said in a new interview Tuesday that police need to acknowledge “we are part of the problem” in the wake of charges brought against cops in the high-profile death of Freddie Gray.

“The community needs to hear that,” Batts told CNN. “The community needs to hear from us that we haven’t been part of the solution, and now we have to evolve. Now we have to change.”
The Baltimore Police led an investigation into Gray’s death for several days with a 40-plus force of investigators before handing the case over to the local prosecutor, who charged six officers with a range of crimes including second-degree murder. Gray died after sustaining injuries while in police custody. Batts learned that prosecutors would press charges only minutes before it was announced publicly. The decision left him “surprised,” he said.

“And then my mind started going to, what is going to be the response in community?” he said. “My officers, how do I keep them engaged, how do I keep them focused on getting their job done as a whole?”

Baltimore Protests, Then and Now 
Baltimore Police officers arrest a man following the funeral of Freddie Gray near Mowdamin Mall in Baltimore on April 27, 2015.
National Guardsmen seal off a business-residential section of Baltimore and prepare to use tear gas against looters on April 8, 1968.
Smoke billows from a liquor store which was looted during the third day of violence, which saw over 400 fires, in Baltimore on April 8, 1968. 
Fire fighters respond to a fire at a CVS pharmacy in Baltimore on April 27, 2015.

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