Tags: Baltimore Riots | Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | Baltimore | mayor | should | request

Justice Advocate: Balt. Mayor's Right to Ask Feds for Police Probe

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2015 10:28 PM

The mayor of Baltimore is on target with her request for a comprehensive federal investigation of the city's police department in the wake of Freddie Gray's death, a liberal policy analyst and commentator told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Wednesday.

"It's really important that there be transparency and that there be parallel investigations that are happening to make sure that all the bases are covered," said Danielle Moodie-Mills, an adviser on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) policy and racial justice issues for the Center for American Progress.

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Moodie-Mills was joined on-air by Dorian Davis, adjunct professor of journalism at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and both guests endorsed Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asking for a Justice Department inquiry similar to the one of Ferguson, Missouri, that followed the death of Michael Brown last August.

The Ferguson probe yielded a report that was sharply critical of the city's police department and court system, saying both targeted black residents disproportionately.

"It makes political sense and it also makes practical sense because we know something went wrong in the Baltimore Police Department," Davis said of the Baltimore request. "The extent to which the police are in fact to blame for Freddie Gray's death is something that will come out during the trial, but that something went wrong is beyond dispute.

"Therefore, it's appropriate to have the Justice Department come in and review the police activities in the city," he said.

Baltimore is the latest U.S. city to be hit by unrest after a black male resident — Gray, in this case — wound up dead after encountering police. Gray died of a spinal injury he reportedly suffered while in custody.

Where local and federal officials found no basis for charging the officer in Ferguson — Darren Wilson, who shot Michael Brown — Baltimore's chief prosecutor on Friday unveiled an indictment containing multiple counts, including murder, against six officers involved in Gray's arrest and transport in a police van.

Critics already say the local state's attorney, Marilyn Mosby, used her power as prosecutor to placate angry residents rather than seek justice, and that she padded the indictment with unwarranted and unprovable charges that won't survive in court.

"I don't think that there was a rush to judgment by the [state's] attorney," said Moodie-Mills. "She did exactly what needed to be done."

The guests also discussed a Miami Beach police officer who is under suspension now for punching a handcuffed model in the face two years ago. Surveillance video of the woman's arrest only recently became public, leading to a suspension but no criminal charges for the officer.

Moodie-Mills said the failure to charge despite video evidence sends a message to police "that they're above the law."

"Part of being a police officer is probably discipline," said Davis. "Some of the media reports say that the model being arrested was not only kicking, but using racial slurs toward this officer, who was African-American, and that might or might not be true.

"The fact of the matter is, as a police officer, part of the challenge is to apprehend a suspect without punching her in the face."

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The mayor of Baltimore is on target with her request for a comprehensive federal investigation of the city's police department in the wake of Freddie Gray's death, a liberal policy analyst and commentator told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Wednesday.
Baltimore, mayor, should, request, federal, police, investigation, Moodie-Mills, Dorian Davis, Midpoint
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2015-28-06
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 10:28 PM
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