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NEWS
February 6, 2014
For the first 36 years of my life, there was little if any reason to think about the horror of murder except as it happened elsewhere. Then we moved to Baltimore. It is now front and center, if for no other reason than the fact that we read the newspaper. It is an inescapable reality and one which seems at times to suck the very sacredness, beauty and preciousness out of life. The recent article ( "Two teens are arrested in killing of woman, 51," Feb. 3) referred to the murder of Kimberly Leto as "a robbery gone wrong.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | October 10, 2014
It wasn't long after Ashley Overbey won approval for a $63,000 settlement from Baltimore's government that anonymous critics began their assault against her on the Internet. Commenting on news accounts of the settlement - which ended her lawsuit alleging police brutality - they accused the 27-year-old of initiating her arrest to get a big payout. She responded, defending herself and recounting details of the incident - a move that led the city to withhold $31,500 from Overbey's payout this week.
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NEWS
September 22, 2014
Regarding the officer who beat a citizen near North Avenue recently, both these men share guilt ( "Baltimore officer is suspended after video of beating is released," Sept. 16). The policeman was wrong for letting his emotions get in the way, and the individual was wrong to provoke him. Until Baltimore and the nation hold both the cops and the people they interact with responsible for their behavior, such conflicts are inevitable. John Holter, Baltimore - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
October 8, 2014
Complaints of excessive use of force and other misconduct by police are nearly as old as modern police departments themselves; the first known use of the term "police brutality" appeared in The New York Times in 1893, and it's been a problem for law-enforcement officials ever since. If police brutality isn't new, neither was much in the plan to combat it unveiled this week by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. Most of the steps it outlined, such as beefing up the department's internal affairs unit, giving the chief greater power to discipline officers and studying the idea of equipping police with body cameras that record their interactions with the public were little more than hasty rehashes of the strategic plan Mr. Batts commissioned in 2012 when he took over the department.
NEWS
Luke Broadwater, Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2014
Baltimore's mayor and police commissioner outlined Tuesday a sweeping plan to reduce police brutality, including the possibility of equipping officers with body cameras, while reiterating that they are committed to restoring public trust in the agency. "We didn't create these problems, but as leadership in charge today, it's our obligation to do everything that we can to fix the breach between the community and police," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said about the 41-page report outlining their plans.
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg | January 5, 2012
We've spent a lot of time this year talking about how the NFL seems to be trying to tone down the brutality in football. For the most part, their efforts seem less sincere and more like public relations, because the rules -- which Roger Goodell appears to make up as he goes along -- are enforced in such an arbitrary way, no one seems to know why some hits are deemed illegal while others are celebrated. The truth is, football is brutality. It's stylized violence, and it always has been, whether it was Night Train Lane doing the hitting or James Harrison.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2011
At a time when City Hall is girding for another round of budget battles, spending on lawsuits filed against the Police Department is coming under increased scrutiny. The city's budget office revealed at an investigative hearing Tuesday that it has spent $10.4 million over the past three years — an average of about $3.5 million annually — defending the Baltimore Police Department against lawsuits. Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke called for the hearing over what she called an "especially troubling" trend of the Police Department paying out millions over brutality claims while other parts of the budget, such as recreation centers, suffer cuts.
NEWS
Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2014
State and local politicians continued the call Monday for heightened scrutiny of Baltimore police officers who are the focus of brutality allegations, urging tougher penalties for offenders and greater disclosure of internal discipline. "Police brutality is completely inexcusable. I'm going to apply justice fairly, even to those who wear a badge," said Marilyn Mosby, who is expected to be the next Baltimore state's attorney. The Democrat is the only major party nominee on the ballot, though she faces opposition in the Nov. 4 election from a write-in candidate.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | October 4, 2014
That's a wise move by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Tony Batts, asking the feds to open a civil rights investigation into police brutality and how cases are handled here. But I have a question: She took office in February 2010; didn't the mayor recognize a troubling trend in settlements and court judgments before she read about them in this newspaper? It's a tough job, running the city; it's hard to keep track of everything. But, as a member of the Board of Estimates since 2007 - first as City Council president, then as mayor - didn't Rawlings-Blake notice damages going to victims of beatings and other appalling police actions?
NEWS
Luke Broadwater, Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | October 8, 2014
A U.S. Department of Justice official promised Wednesday that his agency's months-long investigation of police brutality in Baltimore would be a "candid" assessment, and federal lawmakers threw their support behind the probe. Ronald L. Davis, director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, said he met with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts in Arkansas on Wednesday at a U.S. Conference of Mayors event focused on police misconduct.
NEWS
Luke Broadwater, Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | October 8, 2014
A U.S. Department of Justice official promised Wednesday that his agency's months-long investigation of police brutality in Baltimore would be a "candid" assessment, and federal lawmakers threw their support behind the probe. Ronald L. Davis, director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, said he met with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts in Arkansas on Wednesday at a U.S. Conference of Mayors event focused on police misconduct.
NEWS
October 8, 2014
Where are the cameras? We know bad cops exist. We know their actions have cost this city millions in court costs and degraded the police department's public image. Message received (" Call in the feds ," Oct. 6). Our leaders have abandoned the search for a solution that is already on the table: "CopCams. " The mayor and police chief are "reviewing" the idea, but what's to review? Many of us own smartphones with video. A quick trip to the Internet reveals helmet cameras and a full array of other video tools.
NEWS
October 8, 2014
The recent coverage of police brutality in Baltimore has been unnerving ( "Civil wrongs," Oct. 5). However, the recent column by Dan Rodricks reflects exactly how disgusted I've been with every other area of city governance. Mr. Rodricks points out how the police commissioner and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake turn a blind eye to paying fines and never delving into the problem ( "Mayor should have seen troubling brutality trend," Oct. 5). But to raise taxes to cover the consequences while raising their salaries and enjoying all the "perks" of office is not fixing the problem.
NEWS
Luke Broadwater, Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2014
Baltimore's mayor and police commissioner outlined Tuesday a sweeping plan to reduce police brutality, including the possibility of equipping officers with body cameras, while reiterating that they are committed to restoring public trust in the agency. "We didn't create these problems, but as leadership in charge today, it's our obligation to do everything that we can to fix the breach between the community and police," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said about the 41-page report outlining their plans.
NEWS
October 6, 2014
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!
NEWS
October 5, 2014
I hail reporter Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun for your investigative report on Baltimore police officers' excessive use of force and the astronomical financial and psychological costs of this to our city ( "Undue Force: Suits against police cost millions," Sept. 28). Baltimore City has mishandled, lost, and poorly accounted for millions of taxpayer dollars in recent years. At the same time, city officials regularly claim the need for new taxes, bonds and other revenue sources to pay for badly needed upgrades to city schools and recreation centers; each spring the city claims that it has insufficient funds to operate all of the park and neighborhood swimming pools daily over the summer, and neighborhoods such as West Baltimore continue to struggle with blight and joblessness.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | September 17, 2014
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake criticized the Police Department's handling of a high-profile police brutality investigation on Wednesday, and said she had directed the police commissioner to develop a "comprehensive" plan to address brutality in the agency. Speaking to reporters at City Hall, the mayor said top commanders should have quickly seen a video of an officer repeatedly punching a man, and should have moved immediately to take the officer off the street. "It is outrageous," Rawlings-Blake said of the conduct of the officer shown in the video, whom authorities have identified as Officer Vincent E. Cosom.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | April 4, 2000
I WAS in Rudolph Giuliani's fair city a couple of weeks ago. Had a layover at Penn Station and trudged over to Times Square to grab some dinner. The thing I remember most is that you couldn't go six feet without seeing a cop. I'm talking police everywhere. In 20-something years of traveling in and out of New York City, I had never felt quite as safe. Or as unsettled. It didn't help that this was a few weeks after the acquittal of four officers in the case of Amadou Diallo and a scant two days after the shooting death of Patrick Dorismond.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | October 4, 2014
That's a wise move by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Tony Batts, asking the feds to open a civil rights investigation into police brutality and how cases are handled here. But I have a question: She took office in February 2010; didn't the mayor recognize a troubling trend in settlements and court judgments before she read about them in this newspaper? It's a tough job, running the city; it's hard to keep track of everything. But, as a member of the Board of Estimates since 2007 - first as City Council president, then as mayor - didn't Rawlings-Blake notice damages going to victims of beatings and other appalling police actions?
NEWS
By John Fritze and Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake won praise from clergy and community leaders Friday after calling for a federal investigation into allegations of police brutality - a move that is all but certain to draw added scrutiny on City Hall. But careful observers noted the request from Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts came hours after another official - City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young - raised his hand to invite the U.S. Department of Justice in for a closer look.
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