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Police Misconduct

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By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2012
Janice L. Bledsoe, a private defense attorney who joined State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein's administration last year to prosecute police misconduct cases, is no longer with the office. Spokesman Mark Cheshire said Bledsoe "left to pursue other opportunities. " On Tuesday, an agency-wide email went out instructing city prosecutors to direct police integrity issues to Deputy State's Attorney George Hazel "effective immediately," but did not say Bledsoe was gone. Cheshire said the office had "launched a search to find a replacement" and did not provide additional details.
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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.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | November 14, 2012
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, reacting Wednesday to news of a third city police officer suspended amid a criminal probe within a week, said officials deserve credit for taking action. Harford County State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly confirmed that Baltimore Officer Roberto Santiago is being investigated by the county's Child Advocacy Center, a case that comes on the heels of Officer Elliott Simon's suspension as police investigate a sexual misconduct accusation involving an 18-year-old woman.
NEWS
October 6, 2014
The decision last week by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts to call in federal investigators to probe allegations of excessive use of force and other misconduct by Baltimore police is as embarrassing as it was unavoidable. No city attempting to polish its image as an attractive place to live and work wants to admit having a problem with police brutality it can't handle. But since a six-month investigation by The Sun uncovered evidence of a dysfunctional department seemingly inimical to reform, it's been apparent that the city needs help.
NEWS
April 21, 2014
Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That theorem can be applied to the misconduct of the Baltimore City police officer convicted of beating a suspect in custody ( "Baltimore officer jailed for assaulting suspect in break-in of girlfriend's home," April 16). A city police officer takes a suspect back inside a dwelling to "shake him down" (action). A Baltimore City police officer finds a symbolic dead rat on his patrol vehicle; the rat was a message from a fellow police officer about snitching on the cop who assaulted the suspect.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | October 12, 2012
Shelly S. Glenn, a state prosecutor who was handling the criminal case against Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold, is leaving her post to prosecute police misconduct in Baltimore.  "Shelly Glenn is a tremendous addition to our office," Baltimore State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein said. "In addition to her technical skills as a prosecutor, she possesses a great deal of experience handling cases involving misconduct by public servants. I'm looking forward to working with her in the months and years ahead.
NEWS
August 19, 2011
A plainclothes officer is pummeled with 42 bullets by fellow officers outside a Baltimore nightclub. An off-duty police officer puts over a dozen bullets into a former Marine, who is unarmed and pleads for his life before the officer riddles him with gunfire. His body drops to the asphalt, lifeless. Later that same evening, the same off-duty officer boasts to a fellow officer about the "hot chicks" he was observing at the nightclub he had attended. Compassion? Nary a sign of it by the cop. Another officer is accused of dealing heroin, one time brazenly supporting his "side business" on the district parking lot after a shift meeting.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | July 16, 2014
Baltimore officials agreed Wednesday to settle two lawsuits involving alleged police misconduct, costing the city a combined $88,500. The city's spending panel, the Board of Estimates, approved a settlement for $62,000 after a group of men say they were falsely arrested and subject to an unwarranted use of force by a police officer inside a city parking garage in June 2012. The board also approved the settlement of a case for $26,500 involving a husband and wife and their friend who alleged that they were wrongly arrested around 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2012 while a Baltimore club was closing.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2011
As the Baltimore Police Department faces one of the largest corruption scandals in its history, the city's new state's attorney is revamping the way prosecutors deal with police wrongdoing as part of a comprehensive office overhaul. Gregg Bernstein, who took office in January, is considering eliminating a decade-old division that is devoted to police misconduct cases. And he has abolished a controversial list kept by his predecessor that banned certain officers from testifying at trial.
NEWS
Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a civil rights investigation into allegations of brutality and misconduct by the Baltimore Police Department, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts announced Friday. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Batts requested the probe after a six-month investigation by The Baltimore Sun found city residents have suffered battered faces and broken bones during arrests . The city has paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 cases since 2011, and nearly all of the people who received payouts were cleared of criminal charges, according to the investigation published this week.
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 Bernard C. "Jack" Young | October 3, 2014
As I view the constant protesting by residents of Ferguson, Mo., nearly two months after a police officer fatally shot an unarmed teenager, I know that it's only a matter of time before the streets of Baltimore are filled with the same sustained clarion call for justice that has rocked the once inconspicuous Midwestern city. On the surface, the city of Baltimore and Ferguson are worlds apart. With a population nearly 30 times larger than Ferguson, Baltimore is a major American city and cultural hub. From Francis Scott Key to H.L. Mencken to Thurgood Marshall, Baltimore has produced more than its fair share of American icons.
NEWS
Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a civil rights investigation into allegations of brutality and misconduct by the Baltimore Police Department, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts announced Friday. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Batts requested the probe after a six-month investigation by The Baltimore Sun found city residents have suffered battered faces and broken bones during arrests . The city has paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 cases since 2011, and nearly all of the people who received payouts were cleared of criminal charges, according to the investigation published this week.
NEWS
September 29, 2014
Taking their queue from the classic movie "Casablanca," some city officials are declaring themselves "shocked, shocked!" to learn that police brutality is a serious problem in Baltimore. An investigative report on Sunday by The Sun's Mark Puente found the city has paid out more than $5.7 million since 2011 in judgments or settlements of more than 100 lawsuits brought by citizens alleging excessive use of force and other police misconduct. Three years earlier, the city's budget office also raised concerns over its spending $10.4 million from 2008 through 2011 - an average of about $3.5 million annually - defending the Baltimore Police Department against misconduct lawsuits.
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
September 24, 2014
Legislation introduced Monday in the City Council would require every Baltimore police officer to wear a body camera within a year. Though the proposal leaves many questions unanswered regarding how evidence from the devices could be used, who would have access to it and, not insignificantly, how the new equipment would be paid for, we think on balance that the benefits of the technology far outweigh the costs both in terms of improving police-community relations...
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | July 19, 2002
The one defendant in a high-profile police moonlighting investigation was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday as federal prosecutors offered a new account of the case, saying it involved a substantial management failure at Staples Inc. but not police misconduct. Backing off assertions that more than 39 off-duty Baltimore-area police officers were paid for security work they never performed, prosecutors said in revised court papers that a $348,101 loss to the office supply store chain was the result of sloppy record-keeping and overpayment to officers.
NEWS
By Caitlin Francke and Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF | March 28, 2001
Settling a nasty fight with city police and the mayor, Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy signed off yesterday on the creation of a unit to prosecute police misconduct. The new five-member unit, the Police Misconduct/Ethics Division, will be put in place within the next few weeks. Calls for its formation arose this winter during a dispute between Jessamy and Mayor Martin O'Malley and Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris over Jessamy's decision to drop corruption charges against an officer accused of planting drugs on an innocent man. "This is a positive step in the right direction," O'Malley said at a news conference in City Hall.
NEWS
Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2014
Two City Councilmen plan to submit legislation today requiring every police officer in Baltimore to wear a body camera that records audio and video as the officers go about their jobs. Warren Branch, chairman of the council's public safety committee, and Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young's proposal would permit the Baltimore Police Department to phase-in use of the body cameras during the first year after the bill, if approved, becomes law. The bill comes amid a series of high-profile allegations of police misconduct in Baltimore and around the country.
NEWS
Luke Broadwater and Yvonne Wenger and The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2014
Two influential City Council members introduced legislation Monday that would require every Baltimore police officer to wear a body camera within a year - a move they argue would cut down on police brutality in the aftermath of several high-profile misconduct allegations. Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young and Councilman Warren Branch, chairman of the panel's public safety committee, cited questions surrounding the in-custody death last year of Tyrone West and a recent video showing an officer repeatedly punching a suspect, among other cases, as reasons for the proposed law. It would require all of Baltimore's nearly 3,000 sworn police officers to wear a device constantly recording the audio and video of their interactions with the public.
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