It will be humid, with highs in the low 80s and a chance for storms in the afternoon. Tomorrow’s high temperatures will be near 90.
Facing intense public scrutiny after the death of Freddie Gray and the arrest of the 6 officers involved in his arrest, police insiders are saying that morale in the Baltimore Police Department is extremely low and that officers are hesitant to do their jobs. Some are even pointing to the recent streak of violence in the city, including over 45 shootings in the last two weeks (including 6 over the weekend, one fatal), are tied to a lack of aggressive policing.
Lt. Kenneth Butler, a Southern District shift commander and president of the Vanguard Justice Society organization for black police officers: “I’m hearing it from guys who were go-getters, who would go out here and get the guns and the bad guys and drugs. They’re hands-off now, I’ve never seen so many dejected faces.”
Dejected faces, as if officers were children rained out of a Little Leagure game, not adults responsible for upholding the law without violating people’s rights, or say, killing them. It’s enough to make you long for simpler times, like last year, when police morale sagged and all we had to do was paint the police cars black.
Gov. Larry Hogan and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had a bit of a communication breakdown during the April 27th riots. Hogan was unable to reach Rawlings-Blake for hours, and was prepared to declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard without her endorsement.
The Baltimore Sun’s Andrea McDaniels examines the potentially long-lasting trauma suffered by many in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray and the unrest that followed. City public health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has pledged to make free mental health screenings and counseling services available to residents through the coming months.