Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Anthony Anderson = homicided

The Med Examiner has ruled Anthony Anderson's death a homicide from blunt-force injury and primarily a pulmonary contusion (bruised lung), fractured ribs, hemorrhaged tissues, a torn spleen and blood from those injuries filling his guts (hemoperitoneum) -- not an overdose or by choking on .
swallowed drugs as the BPD initially reported, though police do say "morphine" was in his system 
(yes, not "opiates," "morphine" in particular. Is the toxicology report finished? If so, where is it?)   Here's the autopsy report released by the family & uploaded by Fenton, and the Fenton story... you may recall that our new presumptive police chief resigned in Oakland after a court found that his department had failed to implement court-ordered policies to control police abuses, that citizens who complained about it faced "cavalier rejection" of their complaints, and that "the agency misused an early-warning system that flags officers who frequently use force or generate citizen complaints." Baltimore, of course, doesn't even have a public system by which to track or address such complaints to begin with, unless you count our citizen review board that's sworn to secrecy and has zero power, or the invisible-to-us internal police "administrative reviews" that the department openly admits take "months or years*" to complete.  

Sooo, why did Oakland get to have federal court oversight and Baltimore never has? We had the "Flex Squad" in the SW planting drugs and framing people,* just like Oakland's "Riders." We've had officers shot in chaotic no-clear-lines-of command incidents,* just like Oakland. So why did the Oakland PD get total federal oversight and Baltimore has never gotten more than a federal visit or two?
In other news, plans for the new youth jail soldier on.* (remind me, is it federal or local money building this jail?)

And thank you Kevin Rector, finally*-- after a slew of confusing rape/ abuction stories a little clarity: three sex assault/ kidnapping/ robbery victims, two perps -- Kenyon Waller and William Campbell -- who're both now in jail. The first incident of a teen kidnapped at gunpoint off the street then robbed and sexually assaulted was Sept. 25, but as far as I can tell only the Catonsville Patch reported it. Wonder why. I'd throw in a dab of snark here about how if it had happened to a blonde girl in Towson you wouldn't have been able to eat your Cheerios without hearing Don Scott recount every filthy little detail, but my outrage fatigue is acting up.

Fifteen years for Timothy Dennison, 22, who bought "sham cocaine" from an ICE Homeland Security Investigations agent (whatever happened to the DEA?)

A scathing report from the Senate found that the Department of Homeland Security has spent about a billion dollars to spy on citizens, while thwarting not a single terrorist attack. Next (or probably already) from Homeland Security: automatically tracking everyone's car's movements using license-plate scanning technology. Grouses a proprietor of a for-profit license tracking service, "I take absolute exception to any government telling me that I can't go into public and take video ... that's taking my freedoms away." 


Cham said...

The cops thought Mr. Anderson deserved a flogging.

Anonymous said...

Term homicide does not necessarily mean negligence on the behalf of the police officers.

Any mention of Mr. Anderson's prior run ins with the law?

Any mention of the varying eyewitness testimony?

regardless, prayers for Mr. Anderson and his family. I think the quick comparison of this incident after Commissioner Batts has only had a week on the job is a little harsh. Even though the Baltimore Sun has already reported earlier in the week Batts has met with family members of Anderson pledging justice. I hope justice comes for the incident but I dont hope that the people are too cavalier to condemn police officers.

Maurice Bradbury said...

Yeah the eyewitness testimony was all over the place, but his prior run-ins with the law aren't relevant to the event that led to his death. The fact that he died of his ribs lacerating his spleen and lungs is obviously excessive force. Did the officer intend to kill him? Surely not. Did he perform the takedown as the dept had trained him to do? Was he honest with his superiors or did he just tell them AA probably OD'd or choked? Or whose decision was it to report it to the media that way? ... the point in mentioning Batt's history is that he has a history running a police department that wasn't following the procedures it was court-ordered to follow-- the feds were so ... fed up with the excessive violence against citizens and lack of accountability for rogue cops that they were about to take his checkbook away. I wonder what he will or won't do differently here in the BPD to prevent similar fatal failures.

Batts' family visit does demonstrate one major lesson learned from CA-- riots are best prevented. The officer may have acted reasonably and AA was just a frail junkie who was asked to stop, didn't, got tackled/landed wrong. Even so, it does kind of beg the question, why are they pouncing on frail junkies, why aren't they going for bigger fish on the east side, spending time to find out where AA was coming from with those gelcaps?

Unknown said...

The police involved killings in Baltimore is reaching a near epidemic. Wheather due to poor training ie the police killing of the unarmed man on Chester St. , or to pure malice and brutality thank god the Examiners Office and a local judge are taking notice in the absence of any real local joirnalism. The people of Baltimore will see.

Maurice Bradbury said...

What local judge are you referring to?

MacArthur Media Staff said...

They are pouncing on frail junkiess because it is what they have always done. Careers are made on this kind of stuff. An officer gets to build up his stats on these petty, low risk (usually), surprise ambush take downs.

Marcie, please tell me you're not still under some illusion any of this is about actually combating the real source of drugs on the street. You're far too smart. You know better.

MacArthur Media Staff said...


Maurice Bradbury said...

"The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?’

evaline said...

So, what do you guys recommend a citizen of Baltimore do? I know I sound naive, but I have limited capacity for outrage before I really feel I have to *DO* something. Where is the ACLU? Dumb question? Are there any citizens groups here that could use money, volunteers? What can I do besides sit behind a computer screen and get pissed off?

Maurice Bradbury said...

Two ideas: pushing for federal court oversight/ receivership of the BPD (though the feds have overseen many things, eg the jails, schools, and pretty much a fat zero has ever come of it); a kickstarter campaign to fund the pursuit of FOIA lawsuits against the BPD for full documentation of citizen complaints and deaths and reports of any resulting follow-up measures taken by the BPD in response. Perhaps reporters committee for freedom of the press would have ideas and suggestions.

And I would love if it someone with some spare time could research how it came to pass that Oakland got that kind of oversight. Federal intervention as the result of a lawsuit or what? How might that process be duplicated here? .. Maybe Jason Rosenstein could help us ideate. Citizens need and deserve transparency and accountability. We as citizens should have the power to demand that the BPD use our money to make the people who live here safer and not just racking up overtime and lawsuits processing busloads of junkies all day and night.

MacArthur Media Staff said...

Amen Marcie!

Excellent suggestions! I have many ideas myself, much of which I haven't shared with more than a few people before.

Won't get into them now except to say this. I heartily encourage people wanting to make a difference to read blogs such as this. Be active, ask questions, make comments.

Funny how a little bit of activism goes a long way. You never know what will inspire your inner revolutionary to awaken. Nor do we know when it will happen. But those wanting to see change should be open to it happening.

The more you engage in a discourse of ideas. The more your mind focuses on our many problems and issues and their potential solutions. This is a sort of preparation an emotional level to eventually take further action.

Online activism and commentary is merely a tool, not the toolbox, but it should not be written off as meaningless or ineffective.

While rarely admitted to, you'd be surprised how many politicians I've personally spoken with who've mentioned reading comments on line, going as far as to say how hurt they've been by attacks calling them out in comments after stories and blogs.

Not saying they see everything, but in this day of google alerts, they see much more than you think.

Maurice Bradbury said...

it seems like a ton of federal crimefighting resources have been sucked away from the traditional agencies and put into that shadowy, fascist monolith "Homeland Security." You would think transparency in the justice system would be one thing libtrards and teabaggers could come together over--the efficient use of tax dollars and protecting enshrined rights like privacy of your own data and habeus corpus. But for whatever reason the heart doesn't seem to be there to fix Baltimore's problems from the top down. There's no one in federal government now saying, "you know what we should really do? Get Baltimore's running right. Get those citizens some accountability."

here's a question-- if you could see any police or government documents or records you wanted, what would they be?

MacArthur Media Staff said...

And you best believe the feds are well aware of just how jacked up we are here. Trust me, they're our next door neighbors and they're not blind. Forget what you heard, I've gotten it from more than one good source, they believe Baltimore is beyond hope.

Maurice Bradbury said...

Well surely not every last of Them believe that-- I mean, sure we are beyond hope of ever becoming, like, Tokyo, but the kind of basic transparency and public accountability that most other cities have isn't a crazy thing to aspire to.