This week, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis dismissed all administrative charges against Alicia White, the last officer facing discipline in the Freddie Gray case. Thus, all six officers who were accused of wrongdoing in connection with Gray’s death will keep their jobs.
Of the other five, one was not charged administratively; two were cleared by an administrative review board; and two pleaded guilty at the administrative level, accepted discipline, and are back at work. White was to face a hearing, but the commissioner said, through a spokesman, that proceeding with charges against her would not constitute good faith. Thus, he dismissed the charges.
With book closed for the officers, we can tally up the results. None was found guilty of criminal conduct. In one case, a jury could not reach a jury verdict. In two cases, the judge, an African-American, found the defendant not guilty. Realizing it could not get a conviction, the city dropped charges against the other officers.
The Justice Department declined to bring federal charges against any of the officers.
At the administrative level, as we’ve seen, both of the officers who contested the charges against them were cleared. The two who pleaded out (in order, they said, to put the matter behind them) received relatively light discipline.
In sum, not a single officer was found by an adjudicatory body to have engaged in conduct that warranted punishment. The adjudicators who considered the matter were: a jury, an African-American judge, the police department’s administrative panel, and the police commissioner.
The only procedure still pending in connection with the Gray case is a federal lawsuit brought by some of the officers against Marilyn Mosby, the city prosecutor, for malicious prosecution and defamation.
This is not a full accounting of the Gray matter, however. The family of Freddie Gray received $6.4 million from the city via a settlement agreed to by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore’s hack Democratic mayor at the time.
The settlement figure was ridiculously high. Yet, Baltimore would have gotten off cheaply if that had been the sole price. Indeed, the city would have gotten off fairly cheaply if the only other price had been the riots that Mayor Rawlings in a sense invited after Gray’s death.
Instead, Baltimore suffered a huge upswing in violent crime, thanks to the unwillingness of its Democratic politicians to stand behind the police. Baltimore’s current mayor admits that violent crime is “out of control.”
2017 is the third consecutive year in which Baltimore’s murder rate exceeds 300. That level hadn’t been reached since the 1990s. This alarming spike began with Gray’s death and the city’s feckless response to lawless protesters in the Spring of 2015.
Even the New York Times made the connection.
It is now clear that Baltimore’s left-wing political establishment attacked the police for no better reason than to show thugs that, in the infamous words of grandstanding prosecutor Mosby, “I heard your call for ‘No justice, no peace.’” At the end of their ordeal, the police officers received justice, but for Baltimore there is no peace.
Left-wing governance tends to gnaw at the moral, social, and economic fabric of whatever jurisdiction it inflicts. The phenomenon is most pronounced at the local level. Nowhere I know of is it more pronounced than in Baltimore.