Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Batts Fired, Deputy in Charge

Kevin Davis, ol whatshername
Decked out in a serious and seriously rack-hugging suit jacket, SRB announced today that she'd gone and fired her hand-picked commissioner Batts and that his deputy, one Kevin Davis, was now in charge.

Which is momentarily startling but not really shocking - the litany of awful since April 27 includes:
    That's in-credible!
  • The FOP's own report finding that the "credible threat" police cited preceding the riots on April 27 when they built up their street presence, urged major businesses to close, shut down metro and bus service and surrounded Frederick Douglass kids in the Mondawmin parking lot was, in fact, not "credible" in the least:
"On April 27, 2015, the commanding officer of the Criminal Intelligence Section was deployed as a commander of a Mobile Field Force to Mondawmin Mall ... work in this situation would have been better spent investigating and analyzing the 'purge' information that was received."
  • Also it turns out that it wasn't a tounge-flub at all when the mayor said she "gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well" -- the FOP reported that officers were indeed told at roll call that day to "the Baltimore Police Department would not respond until they [the protestors] burned, looted, and destroyed the city so that it would show that the rioters were forcing our hand." Charming!
And the final straw: an earnest 20-something white guy got mugged for his bike and wrote an op-ed about it published in the Sun, revealing to both citizens and apparently the police spokesman* and City Councilman Brandon Scott that police stations in two of the worst districts (South and Southwest) are closed, as in doors locked, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m nightly. This was followed by tales of officers' unprofessionalism, mass quittings and 24-hour-shifts surging on Reddit, and the shit show was somehow made even worse when the "most professional" of the officers the victim dealt with going on Facebook and blaming him for biking "in the dark" when he wasn't.

Update:
Fenton has a good summation of Batts' career.*
Batts was brought in from Oakland to be a change agent. What he brought: California-style riots to Baltimore, with the "space to destroy" and "show[ing] that the rioters were forcing our hand."
Also from the FOP report:
Batts used tactics in Oakland that he denies using in Baltimore. 'We allowed the protesters to start breaking into Foot Locker. They broke into Foot Locker and different places. But we had to do that because we didn’t want to look like this was a police action, where we were responding too soon. Then we had a very coordinated plan. It took us time to just kind of corral them, bring them in, and take them to jail. We didn’t have any complaints whatsoever, and the citizens said we did a good job.'


Notable: Kevin Davis, who called Batts a "true reform commissioner" himself "had a long career in Prince George's County, where he helped police emerge from federal oversight related to officers' use of force.*"

Dixon, anyone?

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