Hot and humid, with afternoon/evening storms and highs in the low 90s. More sun and less humidity tomorrow.
Anthony Batts is out as Baltimore City Police Commissioner. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Batts’ firing yesterday afternoon, citing questions over Batts leadership as a distraction during a surge of violence in the city.
Rawlings-Blake: “Families are tired of feeling this pain, and so am I. […] We need a change.”
While Batts termination came during a 24-hour-period where 6 people were murdered in Baltimore, Batts was also in the hot seat for Baltimore Police’s handling of protests that led to violent unrest in April.
Earlier in the day, the Fraternal Order of Police released their ‘After Action Report,’ detailing their findings of how Baltimore Police leadership failed officers during the “preventable” unrest, with officers placed in dangerous situations with lousy equipment, 18 hour+ days without food or rest, contradictory or incomplete orders, and pressure to control media perception of events more than policing the streets. The FOP report recommended the solutions the FOP always recommends (more resources to police, more power and influence to police, more training, unquestionable public respect, etc), but the first-hand accounts of many officers painted Batts and other BPD leadership as unprepared to deal with the crisis, destroying police morale along the way. Following the report, the mayor’s office issued a statement dismissive of the FOP report, calling it “baseless and false,” with a an official review of events on the way. Hours later during Rawlings-Blake’s announcement, the mayor denied that the report’s findings had any direct impact on the decision to drop Batts.
Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis will take over as the interim leader of the department. Davis started working for the city in January, after a policing career in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s County.
The Sun looked back on Batts’ mixed record in his three years as commissioner.
+ Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford thinks rapid bus routes are a possible workaround for the dead-in-the-water Red Line. Rutherford didn’t explain how rapid bus lines would actually work through downtown (where dedicated bus lines are already ignored.)
+ Hopkins and UMD are building a ‘big data’ facility at the Bayview campus. It’ll be able to crunch 17,000 petabytes (about a billion iPhones worth) of data.
+ University of Maryland gets the green light to start selling beer at sporting events.