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A report released Monday revealed that the Baltimore Police Department was ill-prepared to respond to protests and riots in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death.
According to The Baltimore Sun, the Police Executive Research Forum’s report, titled Lessons Learned from the 2015 Civil Unrest in Baltimore, “provides new critiques of key top-level decisions and details that bolster previous criticism.” It also highlights continuing gaps in knowledge about how the worst of the rioting, looting and arson erupted, noting that reviewers were “unable to determine who issued the order to cancel bus service” at Mondawmin Mall on April 27 — a decision that left many students stranded in the area that day.
The scathing report also offers a roadmap to fix the problems that resulted in law enforcement officers not being able to handle the situation effectively by offering as many as 56 recommendations for the Baltimore Police Department to implement.
On Tuesday, Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discussed the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) 79-page report that detailed major problems with the Baltimore Police Department’s response to the unrest.
NewsOne Now panelist Gianno Caldwell, a Republican Strategist at Caldwell Strategic Consulting, told Martin the PERF report “shows there was a really bad management issue here and I don’t know what they can really do beyond just hiring somebody new — really do an overview of what they’re going to do next if something like this were to occur.”
Martin highlighted what would seem as ineptitude on behalf of the Baltimore Police Department’s handling of the unrest, saying, “We’re not talking about thirty, forty, fifty blocks — we’re talking about three blocks that were impacted” by the Freddie Gray protests.
William Jawando, Former Obama White House Official, addressed the inequities that led to tensions boiling over, saying, “Baltimore has been neglected for a long time.” He cited the break down of community police relations, and lack of educational as well as economic opportunities as being long-standing contributing factors to the overwhelming pressures felt by the city’s residents.
“The idea that tactical mistakes were made — yes, but there’s been problems with the police force long before and I think we need to address some of those core issues,” said Jawando.
Lauren Victoria Burke, Managing Editor of Politic365.com, blamed then-Commissioner Anthony W. Batts for inadequate leadership. She said, “If you have bad leadership obviously at the top and the lack of planning and things like having guys handling a riot with no training,” it’s unheard of.
She also highlighted the buildup to the volatile protests was evident on social media, saying the Baltimore Police Department “missed that and didn’t really pay enough attention.”
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the Police Executive Research Forum’s report in the video clip above.
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