Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Wednesday a new partnership with the Department of Justice that gives the federal authorities the power to investigate – and perhaps change – the city’s policing practices.
Rawlings-Blake said in a televised news conference the federal presence should further improvements already seen in the city’s police force, like the downward trend of officer brutality complaints.
“We have seen results from these efforts,” but more must be made, she said.
“We have to get it right,” she went on. “Failure is not an option.”
And toward that end, Rawlings-Blake said the feds have been called on to investigate what types of “systematic challenges exist in our department” and make recommendations so the city can further improve. And the announcement came with a veiled threat: Those who don’t make the recommended changes will be held accountable, she said.
Her announcement came just one day after newly minted Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Baltimore to speak with city and community leaders, as well as with family members of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who died about a week after suffering injuries while in police custody.
The FBI and Justice Department have already agreed to investige that death, and six officers have been charged with murder, manslaughter and a variety of other offenses.
Rawlings-Blake said the federal oversight is needed to help repair the “fracture” in the city that’s pitted community residents against police.
In related matters, the Washington Post reported Baltimore police had requested – and received – FBI-manned airplanes equipped with infrared technology to monitor possible unrest in the city. The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking more information about the use of these planes, and has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the pertinent agencies.
Way to go, Mayor, you just leap-frogged right over the governor of Maryland and gave Al Sharpton, Loretta Lynch, and O exactly what they wanted – federalized police.
According to Truth & Action:
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has been major player in the Obama administration’s plan for the federal takeover of local law enforcement – a plan that can now be ushered in more readily due to the burning down of Baltimore.
So far the mayor has played her role to a tee. She first permitted the riots to flourish by giving police a stand down order as the violence was starting to spread. Police knew of specific locations where riots were to take place, but, by her own admission, she instead chose to give the rioters ‘space’ to commit more violence – a statement she later tried to retract. She then told the city that she would delay the imposition of a curfew, basically telling law breakers that they had a free night of looting to enjoy.
If you look on page 73 of O’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing report, you’ll find this at the bottom of the page. The mayor was one of three to provide input.
“The federal government can be a strong partner in our efforts in build better relationships between the police and community,” she said in written testimony before the task force.
Apparently she’s been drinking double shots of O’s kool-aid, since she just gave him the city of Baltimore.
Lastly, isn’t this basically an admission from her that she can’t do her job?