Friday, October 3, 2008

Two books on the Eastern District

Buz has gotten hold of two books, both written by persons who spent some time in the famous (infamous?) Eastern District in Baltimore City. Your consultant is slowly making his way throught the two book: one chapter or subchapter in one, juxtaposed with the chapter in the other book.  One is by Petter Moskos, who spent a year there while doing research for his Ph.D.  The book essentially becomes his dissertation, and gets bogge down by the constant citations, and literature review, though he is trying to bring the literture to bear on his year as "Cop in the Hood".  Unfortunately, for us and for Peter one year+ being on the midnight shift in the Eastern is not necessarily representative of police work or even police work in Baltimore. I would argue that working nothing but the midnight shift is not representative.
Of course, Mr. Moskos never saw any brutality or corruption during his 14-month stay.

The other is by Danny Shanahan, a cop who writes about going over the edge and being eventually shot by other police and going to prison. His writing is awful, though some of his vignettes are interesting; the book is not well edited; apparently self-published. It's pretty clear that the picture Daniel Shanahan paints of the Eastern is one of burned out police, bad attitude, some sense of police duty and glory, and almost casual mention of police officers in his squad drinking and sleeping on duty. Even a casual reader would come to learn that a suburban boy brou;ght up in an all-white neighborhood, suddenly thrust into what is almost a third-world country and trying to police it, soon becomes way in over his head. And an amateur psychologist would dedeuce from his writing that eithere he is fooling us, or early on began suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Book review to Continue...................... 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No Arrest yet!

It's now been more than a week since former Councilman and community leader Ken Harris was murdered in the Northwood Shopping Center during a holdup of the Haven jazz club. And no arrests have been made.

Buz thinks that all the leads have dried up; nobody's "snitching". He's sure that in addition to these 3 hoodlums, others know about the crime and either suspect strongly or know or can guess that they were involved: girlfriends, street friends, people noticing them throwing a lot of money around, etc. But no info to 5-0. The nasty little secret is that if no one tells them anything, the police don't know anything. People who know are either afraid of the perpetrators or believe they are somehow supportive of these guys, that they didn't really mean to kill anybody, that they needed the money, and they're really good dudes, etc.

I heard a fella call in on the WBAL C4 radio talk show arguing that the city police were "up to something" sinister in this case for some unknown evil political reason or something. And that they shoulda have by now got all those surveillance pictures, and analyzed them and publicized them, etc. Sheesh. That's pretty heavy conspiracy stuff! I'm pretty sure Bealefeld and crew really want to solve this "red ball". It would mean mucho brownie points.

Your consultant guesses (semi-educated-wise) that the fancy-schmancy surveillance cameras for the security of the shopping center lot were: broke; fake; very poor quality; didn't really focus on the scene; or were so bad that they barely could see anything worth publicizing--pick one or all of these, or any combination.  

We sincerely hope that somebody is eventually charged with this brutal crime, because as one of our leaders put it right after the event: "this could happen to anybody".

And, Buz doesn't believe that the murder of the Morgan student last year not too far away was not solved either for similar reasons. Perhaps it was, but if so he missed it. (You know, there's just so much violent crime to keep up with.)