For two years now, the Baltimore Police Department has been operating under a new “consent decree” designed to monitor how police make arrests, interact with the public and generally conduct themselves. This was part of the fallout from the death of Freddie Gray and the ensuing riots in 2015. No matter what the intended purpose of the consent decree may have been, the results have been crippling to the police. Some of them, contacted in a recent, anonymous survey, have said that they’re performing far fewer arrests because they fear the media portrayals and reactions from City Hall will wreck their careers. (Townhall)
In the wake of Freddie Gray’s 2015 death while in Baltimore police custody, the city installed a series of reforms — such as the consent decree — aimed at giving more transparency for the department and how they treat suspects. But the intended consequence of the measures is that many police feel they cannot enforce the law, and that elected leaders simply look for any excuse they can to throw officers under the bus if it helps them politically. New evidence shows this is making the city more dangerous.
In 2017, Baltimore started the consent decree. Its goal was “to have a stronger police department that fights crime while it serves and protects the civil and constitutional rights of Baltimore City residents.”
This was all predicted back when the consent decree was first being negotiated. If the police have to look over their shoulders and be pilloried in the media every time they have to “level up” (get a little rough with somebody who is resisting arrest, trying to wriggle out of handcuffs, etc.) they aren’t going to be as active on the job as needed. Morale is reportedly down across the board and some of the officers say that they “don’t stop and get out of their cars” as often as they used to.
The result? A skyrocketing murder rate, increases in rapes, assaults and property crimes across the board, and nearly 700 people being shot through the first eight months of this year. The gang members have eyes and ears. If they know the police are backing off, they become bolder. How this is supposed to improve community relations is anybody’s guess.
And it’s not just Baltimore. After the firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in New York City over his role in the death of Eric Gardner, the number of arrests made by the NYPD has plummeted. It’s being called the “Pantaleo effect.” (NY Post)
The number of arrests and criminal summonses handled by city cops last week plummeted compared to the same period in 2018 — and law-enforcement sources warn it’s the “Pantaleo Effect.’’
Officer Daniel Pantaleo was fired by NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill on Aug. 19 over his role in the fatal take-down of Staten Island cigarette peddler Eric Garner, enraging police officers and their union leaders, who argue the cop was simply doing his job during an arrest.
Since the officer was fired, arrests have dropped by 27 percent compared to the same period last year and the number of criminal summonses issued was down 29 percent. The head of the PBA issued a warning for all his officers to “proceed with the utmost caution’’ while out on the beat. They seem to be taking his warning seriously. The complaints being reported echo what we’re seeing in Baltimore. The cops feel like their own top leadership and City Hall don’t have their backs. Why get out of the patrol car if you’re going to wind up being the poster child for a fresh round of attacks from the social justice warriors?
It remains to be seen whether a similar increase in crime rates will follow in the Big Apple. But if less policing was what you were hoping for, you’ve apparently been granted your wish.