Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh, Baltimore!-Part 2

What is it with the Baltimore Police?  In a report at the Baltimore Sun website, reporter Justin Fenton covers the claim--of the Baltimore cops who arrested and handcuffed a 7 year old for sitting on dirt bike--that they were "following procedures."  An excerpt from Mr. Fenton's coverage: 

"City police officers involved in the arrest of a 7-year-old boy for sitting on a dirt bike in 2007 testified Wednesday during a civil trial that they followed proper procedures, denying allegations that they took the boy into custody as retaliation over a complaint filed by his mother.

The family of Gerard Mungo Jr. filed a $40 million lawsuit against six Baltimore police officers as part of a case being heard this week in Howard County Circuit Court. Gerard was handcuffed and taken into custody, an incident that drew a rebuke from Mayor Sheila Dixon and then-Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm. About 10 days later, the boy's mother was arrested during what police say was a drug investigation."The officers were acting consistent with their training and the protocols,' said James Fields, an attorney representing the officers. 'There are a lot of accusations being made, but what is at issue is whether their conduct was appropriate and legal, and they vehemently dispute any allegations of wrongdoing.'Gerard, who is now 9, testified Monday, saying that he was waiting to go to a dirt bike trail with his father when officers took him off the bike. He said the arrest made him 'scared' and 'sad,' according to a recording of the hearing reviewed by The Baltimore Sun.

'What did you think was going to happen?' asked one of the family's attorneys, Allan B. Rabineau. 'I was never going to see my mother again,' Gerard said, adding that one of his teachers now refers to him as 'jailbird.'"
Baltimore is having Detroit-like problems with it's city leadership as readers of Bad Lawyer, are aware but somebody explain to me: (1 what police department thinks it's appropriate to arrest and handcuff a 7 year old for sitting on a dirt bike; and (2 what municipality thinks it's appropriate to have your mouthpiece say in open court that it was "appropriate" police conduct.

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