Tuesday, September 26, 2006

One Victim Stands Up to Baltimore Police

Do the Constitution's protections reach into our impoverished urban areas?

A victim of the Baltimore Police Department's Southeastern Special Enforcement Team plans to fight back against the tyrannical unit's "officers and the system that enabled them," The Baltimore Sun reports today.

City resident Craig Kemp was targeted by the recently disbanded unit last year. According to the civil lawsuit, officers searched his vehicle without a warrant or probable cause after pulling him over for speeding. They then took his keys and drove to his house where, again without a warrant, they entered his home. Once inside, the officers stole several items and tens of thousands of dollars he earned through workman's compensation.

The best part of the forthcoming suit is that it acknowledges the problem lies not with a couple of rogue individuals but rather with the institution's policies and norms. The suit will allege that the Baltimore Police Department is guilty of "maintaining and tolerating unconstitutional policies and/or customs relating to widespread and systemic patterns and/or practices of police misconduct." This is a systemic problem.

Anyone who doesn't recognize institutional dysfunctions is either guilty of self-deception or ignornace. The League highlighted another outrageous abuse of authority by the Southeastern unit in a recent post.

Not convinced? Just turn to Page 4 of this morning's Baltimore Examiner. One article updates the ongoing case of a 51-year-old man who was beaten to death by officers at Central Booking in 2005. Another reports the police union's claim that officers are quiting because of the pressure placed on them by the arrest quota - a quota the Department continues to deny.

It would appear the Constitution does not apply to impoverished urban areas.

from The League: Reassembled


Blogger Bruce Godfrey said...

Mr. Kemp is being represented by Matthew Bennett, a warm acquaintance of mine from law school who is both a very solid person of substance and a very skilled attorney. Mr. Kemp is in good hands.

9/26/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Hoodlum said...

I say it's time to pack it up and disband the city police. After decades of their inane, brutal and corrupt behavior, it's just time to fire them all, and let the national guard take over. They cannot do any worse.

10/09/2006 12:58:00 AM  

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