On Wednesday night, former Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told a crowd at Mount St. Mary’s University that police “took a knee” after riots in April, blaming their activity for rising crime rates that ended in his firing. Batts said, “Part of the crime rate increase is that the police officers at some point took a knee, and they are doing that like other officers.”
Dismissing complaints that Batts did not stand up for his officers, Batts raged, “Police officers in Baltimore will tell you that they felt I wasn’t standing up for them at the end. I asked them, ‘What do they want in a police chief?’ To hear them say it is anything that they do they want the police chief to stand up and say my guy was right. You can’t do that.”
Batts faulted his officers for failing to earn public trust. In February, Batts stated that crime could be fought “through social justice as a whole,” and explained, “Leadership should be focused not just on crime-fighting, but tackling racism.” He also said that he faced “1950s-level black-and-white racism” in Baltimore.
Batts’ record was so rotten that, despite his left-approved rhetoric, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired him. Before Batts’ firing in 2015, the city experienced a 48 percent increase in homicide over the prior year.