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Baltimore Police Officers: ‘We Run the Risk of Being Criminally Charged’ for Doing Our Job

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Wednesday on CNN’s “At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan,” Brooke Baldwin spoke to two officers whose identities were concealed and discussed the surge in the crime rate since six Baltimore officers were charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

Baldwin asked, “Since the riots, Baltimore has had the deadliest month in the city’s history in nearly 42 years. I just read this weekend, a 42-year-old has died, and 8 and 10-year-old shot. Why has this happened.?”

The first unidentified officer replied,”Because the criminal element feel as though we’re not going to chase them if they have a gun and they’re using this opportunity to settle an old beef or conflict with. I think the public really, really sees that they actually softer, less aggressive police department and we’ve given them that and now they’ll realizing that their way of thinking does not work.”

He continued, “You have to — you have to run the risk of — you have to look at it like, if I chase this guy who possibly has a gun and he gets hit by a car, what will I be charged with criminal negligence or possible armed suspect that I did not see the gun. That role of the dice is greater than me driving to the next call and writing a report. These are things we’re going to have to weigh when we’re running past a group of guys on the corner. We run the risk of being criminally charged.”

The second unidentified officer agreed saying, “We’re now in the total reactive mode. This is the result you get. Ultimately it does a disservice to the law abiding citizens. It does a disservice to business owners, to everybody. But the criminal element, they know that pretty much to whole police department has shifted to a reactive side. You have no more initiated stops. You know, an officer is worried. He’s riding down the street. Even  although you have a reasonable suspicion and you see a guy or girl walking down the street and there’s a bulge coming in from their waistband. And there’s different characteristics that we’re trained for to look for in an armed person. and I can tell you this and it’s the truth. Nine out of ten times that officer’s going to keep on driving.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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