Monday, April 20, 2009

Peter Hermann's article on police pat-downs, etc.

President Rosslyn to Commander of  Battlestar Gallactica: "The war is over: we lost."

Buz read with interest Peter Hermann's article a while back on how police came into a hardware store in Southwest Baltimore, made a guy go outside, "pat him down", find nothing, and just let him go back inside and go about his business. It was treated and accepted as just the "code of the streets" and how it supposedly applies to police stops in high-crime areas. I dunno, maybe it's just me, but I'll betcha plenty of defense attorneys out there had nice smiles on their faces, just thinking about the stat-driven police force which has them wandering around (in Southwestern District-home of the famous Flex Squad, no less), jacking people up because they think they might be dirty.

Dragging a guy out of the store and patting him down?
Patting down (searching?) the store owner who was taking out trash?

Um, okay, stop and frisk. Terry vs. Ohio? Wonder if that is still taught in the police academy.
We now get a little more insight into why the State's Attorney's Office drops so many cases without charges, in Baltimore City. And how, though this guy didn't seem to mind much (after all, what could he do?), many males in Bmore object to being summarily stopped, frisked, having their pockets gone into, and pants pulled down in public {though they may be wearing 3 pairs of pants in the winter}. Does anyone think about: "The fire next time?"

And I'm pretty certain the store owner minded being stopped and patted down while taking trash out behind his own place.

While all of us are glad crime is "down", except for murders, of course, Buz wonders if police would be better served that instead of stats, they were patrolling, looking for guys where the evidence was already there; preventing and looking for burglaries; preventing, responding to and looking for robbery and theft suspects. I know, I'm starting to sound like Peter Moskos, but you just gotta wonder: is jacking up people for little or no reason because you think they might be dirty, really a good use of your community relations if you don't find anything, or good use of your time if you do?

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