Does it take leaving the Police Department to become a “good” Cop? One of Baltimore’s Finest unleashes on Twitter.
Former Baltimore PD Officer Michael Wood, goes all out on Twitter detailing some of the more troubling practices he observed while on the force:
The name should be familiar for some readers. A few months ago I had the opportunity to talk to Officer Wood on air, where he detailed some of the most disturbing practices in Baltimore (as seen above). We discussed many of the systemic problems with both blatant and institutionalized racism, regardless of the actual racial mix of the force. You don’t have to be white to support a structure built on white supremacy.
He discussed the subconscious adoption of a belief system and culture, built on division as soon as officers donned the uniform Its about “us vs. them”…. I’ll let you guess who the “thems” are… We discussed over-policing and the targeting of specific racial groups, profiling, illegal searches, among a few (see here: What the media missed). There is an unspoken cultural mandate of dehumanizing African Americans consistently. His recent Twitter divulgence also included practices we didn’t cover on air:
That’s right. Defecating on suspects’ beds and sheets. Eeewe. That’s disgusting. I mean WHO DOES THAT?! When I was a pet owner, there’s no way I could go any amount of time knowing that my pets were in feces and urine. These officers sound more like a really bad fraternity of ill disciplined, spoiled privileged kids that know they are above the law. There are no real consequences. Officer Wood also discussed the shuffling or bad officers from department to department, until they just phased out of the force.
A spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department confirmed that Wood left the force in 2014. In subsequent tweets, Wood promised to reveal more and expressed surprise at the attention paid to his commentary. After Freddie Gray died in April from a spinal cord injury he sustained while in police custody, thousands in Baltimore protested against police brutality. Wood told the Secular News Network in May that the “BPD started the riots.”
Where do you go when the entire hierarchy is guilty?The press? Sure – but they’ve known and reported on some of this. The Baltimore Sun has done a phenomenal job asking the really hard questions in Freddy Gray’s death, including “wWere the hell is the missing footage from the CCTV?” Its gone. The Sun and the Herald have detailed the millions that the BPD has dished out in fines and lawsuits for police brutality. We’re expecting a similar DOJ report on Baltimore, as we’ve gotten on Ferguson and now Ohio.
Sometimes you need an event like the Gray death – to get attention to a larger problem. Kind of like the riots (though most people still believe it was about acting out and looting… Smh).
The question isn’t just “where are the good cops?” its also “how do we address the system and culture of policing, that silences any cop, while perpetuating a system of bad ideas and even worse actions?” I’m not anti-police. No. I’m against bad, unfair, biased, racist, corrupt, and poor policing. I’m against blind accepting of police infallibility and dismissing accountability. Until we start addressing those issues and implementing common sense solutions, (some even detailed here), we’re going to have repeats of what we saw in Baltimore, Ferguson, New York, LA, San Francisco, South Carolina, North Carolina, … (wow- those are a lot of isolated unrelated incidents).
“Where are the good cops?” – just doesn’t go far enough.
Officer Woods promised additional Tweets. More soon.