Friday, February 10, 2006

February 10

Erik Barksdale, 25, was arrested and charged with the murder of 15-year-old Antania Mills.

Major Nicholas Palmeri, commander of the Southwestern, is being reassigned to a desk job.

What's up with this video? All we know is some group of guys in "Police" shirts beat the tar out of BGE employee De'Andre Jones.

Prosecutors have submitted new DNA evidence in the Canela/Espinoza case, which will delay the retrial.

Two fifty-something guys, Gregory Banks and Oliver Hudson, are headed to federal prison for selling hillbilly heroin. The half-brothers made national "news of the weird" for acting ... weird.

If you get shot and want the local news to care, it's better to be a dog than a dark-skinned teenager.

Baltimore County has a new Circuit Court judge, H. Patrick Stringer Jr. Stringer specializes in business torts and (yawn) insurance law.

Brian Lynn McCarty, 23, of Essex, Md, got seven years for stabbing Christopher Tipton, 22, in Ocean City.

Note to political speechwriters: when shopping for a metaphor, steer clear of the Holocaust.


Anonymous said...

Lies, damn lies, and statistical lies.

I wouldn't so much mind if the Mayor was too stupid to understand, but he himself leveled this objection as a councilman.

He knows that the police are encouraged to lie, because he's the one asking for artificial reductions in stats. You heard it here first, folks. Either fire Martin O'Malley or ask the State to take over the Balto. City Police Dept.

He claims he does 'a pretty darn good' job of oversight. I've told him to his face that they're lying. First-hand testimony. His oversight is more like overlooking, it isn't good, and it ain't pretty.,0,3506782.story?coll=bal-local-headlines


Anonymous said...

Now that we've dealt with the absence of truthfulness, let's discuss the lack of sincerity.

Commr. Lenny Hamm has stated that he's trying to staff the police dept., but cannot get good candidates. 50% of applicants flunk the drug test. Question: How many of those were prosecuted, huh?

Hamm now agrees that the force should have at least 4000 personnel. It currently has around 3000. We have 1000 of the 2000 patrolmen we should have under that deployment, or 50% of capacity.

Now, the common tenure of a cop is 20 years, consistent with the vesting of pensions. That means that 5% drop out from retirement annually, or 150 personnel. Thgis is a low number because attrition is compounded by high hazard rates in this line of work.

Next, the police academy takes in 50 candidates a term and operates for five terms max per year. That's 250 guys per year less the significant number who flunk out IF we had full recruitment, which we don not.

Therefore, max graduations of under 250 less min attrition of over 150 would increase the force by a structural maximium of 100 guys.

So, at the rate Hamm is going, he COULDN'T FEASIBLY make the target of 4000 officers for at least a decade.

I'm not waitin' that long. Hell, no! This is the second-worst city in the whole nation.

Mr. O'Malley, your nose is showing. Didn't you ever read Pinnochio? I mean, you're so good at telling other fables.

Anonymous said...

"50% of applicants flunk the drug test. Question: How many of those were prosecuted, huh?"

Oh, come on, you can't be serious. You honestly think that if a person applies for a job and fails the drug test they should be thrown in jail? That's fucking ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

If they're to be cops?

I suppose the real question to ask is, do we or don't we think using should be unlawful?

Perhaps you require them to swear that they don't use and then prosecute their perjury.

Anonymous said...

so, not only do you believe in incarceration for people who demonstrably use drugs but aren't actually caught in possession of them or under the influence of them, but you also believe in a more severe punishment for the ones that want to be police officers as opposed to say taxi drivers or whatever jobs might require drug tests? isn't just not letting them be a cop good enough?

as for your second question, i'm sorry, you're right, putting as many people in jail as possible is clearly the most effective strategy for winning the war on drugs. if we can just step it up and start putting even more people in jail, pretty soon every drug user in america will be in jail and nobody will do drugs anymore. sounds like a plan!

p.s. i am willing to bet that a great deal of the applicants to the police department that failed the drug test only tested positive for marijuana use. i really can't picture some dope fiend even wanting to be a cop, let alone getting far enough along in the application process that they actually took a drug test. and if that's the case, big deal. as long as cops aren't actually high while on duty, who cares? maybe we'll even see a reduction in unwarranted arrests and brutality complaints :p

Anonymous said...

I'm not a legislator. If we want people on drugs, then legalize them and don't prosecute. If however, we're going to outlaw them, you cannot then pick and choose when you will and won't prosecute.

Part of the problem in Baltimore is law rendered ambiguous through differential enforcement. You end up with a culture of unlawful but permitted activities, such as burglary. Burglary may be a felony, but in the 'hood the cops allow it all the time without batting an eye.

Thus, you have one set of laws in Baltimore A and another in Baltimore B. That's disastrous, especially when cops are perceived to be above the law.

And yes, conditional upon determining that a given act is a felony, I ABSOLUTELY believe in incapacitating criminals through incarceration. This is absolutely independent of whether there are two or two million offenders.

That which is wrong, after due consideration, is wrong. Baltimore needs to learn this lesson. I learned it at age four.

Anonymous said...

FYI, arrest records from the adult population in Balto. City are overwhelmingly heroin/coke, not pot, by a 6 to 1 margin. About 1 in 17 adults in Baltimore is addicted to heroin. We're not just talking about toking an infrequent joint.

Anonymous said...

if you believe that a person should be arrested for failing a drug test that is not mandated as terms of probation or parole, then it also logically follows that you believe that a person who voluntarily checks themself into a rehab facility should also be arrested, since they would only do so if they were a drug user. (oh wait! you forgot about treatment! to you the only options are prison or just ignoring them!) do you also believe in abstinence-only sex education for school kids?

besides, i seriously doubt if simply having used drugs in the past (even the recent past) is actually a crime. if it is, it's surely enforced nearly 0% of the time (whereas laws against burglary, while not enforced 100% of the time for sure, are enforced far above 0%), because it's a ridiculous idea. if this were the case, the majority of america could go to prison. even if you say it only applies to "current" drug users, what would you even consider "current"? use within the past 24 hours? a week? a year? this difficulty is compounded by the fact that it takes wildly varying amounts of time for different individuals' bodies to eliminate the drug from the bloodstream, and different drugs also break down at different speeds. maybe the cops should just go door to door everyday collecting urine samples from the entire citizenry.

lastly, howard roarke's "if they're to be cops" comment is retarded because now he's expecting the cops to police people's ambitions. should the fine for littering be drastically higher for people who litter while walking to their job interview at the sanitation department? give me a break.

Anonymous said...


seriously, how many heroin addicts do you think are lining up to join the police department and are being seriously considered for the job?

"well, mr. smith, your credentials are impeccable and you've really impressed me during this interview. wait, you're a fiend? i'm sorry, i wish we could hire you, but it's just not possible."

Anonymous said...

oh, one more quick thing: there's no residency requirement to be BPD. in fact, i'm pretty sure a huge portion of the force, if not the majority, actually resides outside the city limits, so your point on how many baltimoreans use hard drugs is totally irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Anon, are you a drug apologist, or just a libertine?

Public employees expose themselves to scrutiny when they seek nonprivate employment. Police should not be permitted the use of street drugs. IAD will tell you that statistically, their problem cases are highly correlated with narcotics.

If you want this, you gotta be clean. It's not an income-transfer mechanism, it's a task that needs performing. Without addiction.

As for sanitation staff, yes, I do endorse firing them for knowingly, willfully dumping garbage.

Personally, I don't recommend criminalizing substances. They're inanimate. Instead, criminalize the behavior. Yes, the penalties for committing a crime should be higher under certain circumstances. One is public employment. Another is when committed under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I'd suggest legalizing low-impact drugs and hiking the penalties for crimes committed under their influence.

As for your issue with the prevalence of drug use in the city, yes, most officers choose not to live here. Police are not well regarded in many of our neighborhoods and the behavior here is a turnoff to most good cops. All of this does nothing to decrease the public interest in minimizing the effort spent vetting the (mostly ineligible) applications of drug-users, most of whom DO live here and fall in that demographic.

The objective is not so much their arrest as it is to prevent their submitting useless applications. Hence, you threaten them with perjury, rather than drugs charges.

Anyone who doesn't want their ambitions regulated needs to stick to the private sector for employment.

Si Fitz said...

Dear John Galt,
I hope the State taking over the city police force would work better than the state taking over the city schools. The resulting loss in city oversight and the state's failure to do its own oversight resulted in massive amounts of missing money. Millions of dollars in fact. So Galt, I know that you like Ehrlich, but for the sake of the city, let's be rational.

Si Fitz said...

In other news on
La Luchita: Paz, Justicia y Libertad

"According to news reports. Vice President of the United States of America Richard Cheney has shot and injured 78 year-old lawyer Harry Whittington. No word yet on if charges will be filed in the incident."

Si Fitz said...

More on the Baltimore City Public School System can be found below

under background and oversight

I have trouble now finding analysis of the failures of the joint city-state oversight without database access to something like Lexis Nexis.

one article is here that i can't access;jsessionid=nxY-hhq4y9O-tdDpGL?cookieSet=1&journalCode=espr

Anonymous said...

The problems in Balto. City Public Schools are best attributed to Bonnie Copeland's office, not Nancy Grasmick's.

We know from many years of municipal ineptitude that the Mayor & City Council cannot run a police force. If you don't feel comfortable with the state, that would leave either a) a federally-administered disaster area or b) an independent special district form of police force. The latter could work, but almost certainly would have to be recruited from outside the very limited talent pool in B'more and without being answerable to our local hacks.

Anonymous said...

of course baltimore police don't live in baltimore city. as hamm himself said, many officers have children and they can't afford private school. hamm said when the schools get better he thinks more officers will want to live in the city.

The Baltimore Sun (“Pushing Back Against Crime” by Sara Neufeld