BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A pair of active Baltimore police officers speak out to CNN, saying cops now think twice before confronting suspects. But the city’s top cop says that is not acceptable.
Christie Ileto with the alleged changes inside the department.
It’s no secret that crime has surged since the April unrest. Homicides are up and arrests are down. Now these two city police officers are saying that their fellow comrades are taking a reactive and not a proactive approach to policing.
Two Baltimore City cops admit to CNN policing has changed since Freddie Gray’s April arrest.
“What’s different is the proactive, self-initiated policing has stopped,” one officer said.
Gray died from injuries in police custody, sparking riots and the indictment of six officers.
This pair speaks anonymously:
“Even though you have reasonable suspicion and you see a guy walking down the street and there’s a bulge coming in from their waistband… I can tell you this, and it’s the truth… 9 out of 10 times that officer is going to keep on driving,” one officer said.
“You have to ask that police officer, if it in fact is a police officer, how do they feel about their ethical standards that they’ve put on?” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
Baltimore’s top cop says that’s not every officer’s attitude.
“The reality is that you do have officers doing good work out there. We are taking guns off the streets. We don’t get to pass up bad guys. We don’t get to let bad guys walk around our streets with guns,” the commissioner said.
But an undercurrent of crime continues to sweep the city.
“I was destroyed when I saw it and when I heard it because I said to myself we’re paying our taxes for police protection and we’re not getting it. It’s not all of them, but it’s some of them when you make the calls. It’s a no care attitude,” said Rev. Keith Bailey, Fulton Heights Community Association.
Rev. Bailey says the cops’ disclosure only supports what residents have been saying all along.
Residents fear that if this continues June is on track to be just as violent as May.
Last month, the police union claimed officers were afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs.