An Officer Down: The Dichotomy Of Baltimore’s Policing In Wake Of Slain Detective

The entire city of Baltimore has been on edge the last few months with a rash of shootings that has raised the homicide rate in the city to over 300 for the second straight year. Crime as a whole seems to have began to spiked with a rash of violent crimes being committed by juveniles in downtown, becoming a major concern for city leaders, and while being highlighted in the media primarily because the crimes have struck at the heart of the city’s main financial district (the Inner Harbor). The Mayor and city leaders have tapped into every resource possible in a desperate attempt to curve the violence, but appears to be spinning its wheels as the body count continues to rise. As the crime wave swarms over the entire city, no one seems to be immune, while two Baltimore cops have also fallen in a month’s time, and are glaring casualties to the brutality of senseless street violence.

Last night 18-year Baltimore police veteran, Detective Sean Suiter became the city’s 306th homicide victim, when he was shot in the head by an unknown gunman while investigating a lead into a previous homicide. The cop’s investigation took him into the Harlem Park section of the city, one of the toughest turfs on Baltimore’s west side. City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis had been asking all night that the city pray for the fallen officer and his family, as the cop’s condition was dire and appeared bleak because he sustained injury to his brain. Despite the efforts of doctors at shock trauma, Det. Suiter eventually succumbed to his injuries.

The threads on most local news outlets social media websites were filled with heartfelt expressions of condolence for the cop, his family, and the entire city of Baltimore as a whole. The basic sentiment seems centered around a common theme, which is the exhaustion that everyone has with the violence in Baltimore. The discourse regarding “how to solve Baltimore’s violence” is a decades old dialogue that seems to fall upon death ears. The issue tends to reduce into finger pointing, blaming, and a culture of divisiveness resulting in a “us against them” between city government, its police force, and the citizens who largely reside in marginalized and poor sections of Baltimore.

Split right down the middle are diverse perspectives related to the recent killing of a city cop. Some point to a volume of police misconduct incidents like cops who were caught planting drugs of citizens, the recent indictment of 8 police officers in the department’s now defunct gun unit, and the handling of the Freddie Gray case that led to riots a few years ago, as perhaps the most pervasive premise for while its now open season on police in Baltimore city. The relationship between cops and citizens in Baltimore has always been tenuous at best.  Other postures consist of people who regard cops as public servants who protect the various communities that make up the multi cultural communities of the city.

However, regardless what position you possess regarding city politics and the violent crime that plagues Baltimore, one thing is blatantly obvious, and that’s the manner in which cops react to crimes when one of their own are slain, verses when a normal citizen is killed. Some have made the argument that if city police would respond in the same manner when killings of citizens occur as they do when a cop gets killed, that the city probably wouldn’t have as many homicides or as much violent crime. Police officials go to tremendous lengths to bring cop killers to justice and even take unusual measures to catch these kind of killers, like bringing entire classes of police trainees from the police academy to beat the streets knocking on doors, and to obtain even the slightest amount of intelligence that they hope will aid in their investigation.

Its this dichotomy of policing in Baltimore that has fed an ever growing visceral hatred for cops in the city that has spanned decades. In a town where “stop snitching” is the anthem for this kind of crime, a$69.000.00 dollar bounty may not be sufficient to lure support from the community to help solve this crime. Maybe my perspective is unorthodox, or perhaps poorly timed in the wake of this senseless tragedy, but in many communities, not particularly for this fallen police detective, however the tears are few primarily for this city police agency who has failed them, abused them, and remain indifferent from the very people they are charged to serve.

Now in an irony made only for a television crime series like “The Wire” and “Homicide,” city police are now dependent upon the citizens of Baltimore to help jump start their most current and intense hunt for a murderer who killed a cop last night. Those of us who know Baltimore cops well, already know how it will all unfold. They’ll get their man, because they will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit, even if it means having to violate the law or the civil and constitutional rights of private citizens to accomplish this. The citizens of Baltimore wonder though, will city police ever exercise such diligence and tenacity investigating a murder when a common citizen is gunned down as a result of senseless violence?

While cops vehemently mourn the killing of one of their own, other locations all over the city that possess makeshift memorials where Baltimore’s children have fallen, serve as reminders of the horror, the danger, and the shame of a city so engulfed with violence that it snatched the life of a soldier sworn to protect her citizens. There can be no distinction between the police response when citizens fall to gun violence juxtapose to when one of their own is struck down, and if Baltimore ever heals from its own contestation, the gap between its government, police, and her poor citizens must be mended to insure the life of brave cops like Detective Sean Suiter wasn’t lost in vein.

 

The People’s Champion

I’m Crime writer David B. Adams

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. Recognized journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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The entire city of Baltimore has been on edge the last few months with a rash of shootings that has raised the homicide rate in the city to over 300 for the second straight year. Crime as a whole seems to have began to spiked with a rash of violent crimes being committed by juveniles in downtown, becoming a major concern for city leaders, and while being highlighted in the media primarily because the crimes have struck at the heart of the city’s main financial district (the Inner Harbor). The Mayor and city leaders have tapped into every resource possible in a desperate attempt to curve the violence, but appears to be spinning its wheels as the body count continues to rise. As the crime wave swarms over the entire city, no one seems to be immune, while two Baltimore cops have also fallen in a month’s time, and are glaring casualties to the brutality of senseless street violence.

Last night 18-year Baltimore police veteran, Detective Sean Suiter became the city’s 306th homicide victim, when he was shot in the head by an unknown gunman while investigating a lead into a previous homicide. The cop’s investigation took him into the Harlem Park section of the city, one of the toughest turfs on Baltimore’s west side. City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis had been asking all night that the city pray for the fallen officer and his family, as the cop’s condition was dire and appeared bleak because he sustained injury to his brain. Despite the efforts of doctors at shock trauma, Det. Suiter eventually succumbed to his injuries.

The threads on most local news outlets social media websites were filled with heartfelt expressions of condolence for the cop, his family, and the entire city of Baltimore as a whole. The basic sentiment seems centered around a common theme, which is the exhaustion that everyone has with the violence in Baltimore. The discourse regarding “how to solve Baltimore’s violence” is a decades old dialogue that seems to fall upon death ears. The issue tends to reduce into finger pointing, blaming, and a culture of divisiveness resulting in a “us against them” between city government, its police force, and the citizens who largely reside in marginalized and poor sections of Baltimore.

Split right down the middle are diverse perspectives related to the recent killing of a city cop. Some point to a volume of police misconduct incidents like cops who were caught planting drugs of citizens, the recent indictment of 8 police officers in the department’s now defunct gun unit, and the handling of the Freddie Gray case that led to riots a few years ago, as perhaps the most pervasive premise for while its now open season on police in Baltimore city. The relationship between cops and citizens in Baltimore has always been tenuous at best.  Other postures consist of people who regard cops as public servants who protect the various communities that make up the multi cultural communities of the city.

However, regardless what position you possess regarding city politics and the violent crime that plagues Baltimore, one thing is blatantly obvious, and that’s the manner in which cops react to crimes when one of their own are slain, verses when a normal citizen is killed. Some have made the argument that if city police would respond in the same manner when killings of citizens occur as they do when a cop gets killed, that the city probably wouldn’t have as many homicides or as much violent crime. Police officials go to tremendous lengths to bring cop killers to justice and even take unusual measures to catch these kind of killers, like bringing entire classes of police trainees from the police academy to beat the streets knocking on doors, and to obtain even the slightest amount of intelligence that they hope will aid in their investigation.

Its this dichotomy of policing in Baltimore that has fed an ever growing visceral hatred for cops in the city that has spanned decades. In a town where “stop snitching” is the anthem for this kind of crime, a$69.000.00 dollar bounty may not be sufficient to lure support from the community to help solve this crime. Maybe my perspective is unorthodox, or perhaps poorly timed in the wake of this senseless tragedy, but in many communities, not particularly for this fallen police detective, however the tears are few primarily for this city police agency who has failed them, abused them, and remain indifferent from the very people they are charged to serve.

Now in an irony made only for a television crime series like “The Wire” and “Homicide,” city police are now dependent upon the citizens of Baltimore to help jump start their most current and intense hunt for a murderer who killed a cop last night. Those of us who know Baltimore cops well, already know how it will all unfold. They’ll get their man, because they will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit, even if it means having to violate the law or the civil and constitutional rights of private citizens to accomplish this. The citizens of Baltimore wonder though, will city police ever exercise such diligence and tenacity investigating a murder when a common citizen is gunned down as a result of senseless violence?

While cops vehemently mourn the killing of one of their own, other locations all over the city that possess makeshift memorials where Baltimore’s children have fallen, serve as reminders of the horror, the danger, and the shame of a city so engulfed with violence that it snatched the life of a soldier sworn to protect her citizens. There can be no distinction between the police response when citizens fall to gun violence juxtapose to when one of their own is struck down, and if Baltimore ever heals from its own contestation, the gap between its government, police, and her poor citizens must be mended to insure the life of brave cops like Detective Sean Suiter wasn’t lost in vein.

 

The People’s Champion

I’m Crime writer David B. Adams

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. Recognized journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

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