The Baltimore Police Union is demanding public records of radio transmissions and email notifications to prove the leadership in the Baltimore Police Department, specifically Police Chief Batts, told officers NOT to stop the riots and looting.
Facing the probability the police union is going to succeed in their endeavor to put sunlight upon the truth the Mayor, Police Chief Batts and his leadership team are now having to admit they did tell the officers to ‘stand down’. You can listen to some of the audio transmission here.
However, the Mayor and Police Chief are desperately using semantics and parseltongue to claim the orders did not mean what they said they mean. After the Baltimore Sun excerpt, we’ll show you where the LEO leadership was visiting right before the riots, and continuing thereafter.
(VIA Baltimore Sun) Baltimore police commanders acknowledge that they ordered officers not to engage rioters multiple times on the day of Freddie Gray‘s funeral but said they did so to protect officers and citizens as they prioritized life over property.
In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts and six top commanders who directed deployments on April 27 denied that they gave blanket orders to do nothing as rioters looted, raided businesses and even attacked officers with impunity.
More than two months after riots broke out across Baltimore, top brass and rank-and-file officers continue to spar over how platoons of officers were deployed that day. About 160 officers were injured in the riots and businesses suffered millions of dollars in damage.
Batts has repeatedly denied issuing a “stand down” order — akin to ordering a withdrawal — while officers say they were in effect given such an order, either over the radio or in person, when they were told “do not engage” or “hold the line.”
Commanders told The Sun that they asked officers to “hold the line” as part of an overall deployment strategy to create a barrier between rioters and police operations and potentially vulnerable people. If officers broke lines during a face-off with rock-throwing protesters, for instance, they could be isolated and surrounded by mobs. And if officers broke the line to make arrests, they might have been forced to guard them amid all the chaos when transport vans weren’t available.
“There’s an amount of discipline necessary to navigate your way through a civil disturbance,” Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis said.
[…] The union has requested texts, emails and radio transmissions between police commanders and City Hall for review. As of Tuesday, the union had received only one tape from the voluminous riot transmission record.
The police union’s president, Lt. Gene Ryan, said the Police Department could clear up any misconceptions or rumors by releasing the requested communications.
“If they have nothing to hide — and they always talk about being transparent — how come they haven’t given me the tapes of the radio transmissions?” Ryan said. “If they have nothing to hide, why not give me what we asked them for?”
Police have said they will share information, and both the agency and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake say they have called for their own probes into how deployments were handled.
Some officers have said they believe the mayor was behind the alleged “stand down” order so Baltimore police would not look as aggressive as body-armor-wearing officers responding to unrest last year in Ferguson, Mo.
Rawlings-Blake has denied that and said she would never allow people to loot, destroy or burn businesses.
“The mayor never gave an order to police to stand down, and there have been multiple officers who have come forward and have said there was no such order given either by the mayor or by the command staff,” spokesman Kevin Harris said. “I can say unequivocally that the mayor never gave such an order or told the command staff to give such an order.”
Batts and his top commanders said officers are confusing “stand down” with “hold the line” — a command they acknowledge was given repeatedly.
Their objective was simple, according to Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere: “Protect assets, protect life.” (read more)
As more evidence surfaces it becomes crystal clear that Police Chief Batts was in close and direct communication with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, when he gave orders as heard in audio “from 101” not to engage the looters and lawless thugs rioting.
But the bigger question becomes who was instructing Chief Batts?
Consider the dates.
Freddie Gray was apprehended by police on April 12th. He died on April 19th. The police officers were suspended on April 21st. The Baltimore riots began the day of Freddie Gray’s Funeral April 25th which was coincidentally the same day as the White House Correspondents Dinner: