Tag Archives: Baltimore Riots

Watch: Two Baltimore City Jail Correctional Officers Caught On Video Looting A 7-11

By Chuck Ross

Two correctional officers who work at the Baltimore City jail were suspended without pay Wednesday after video emerged showing them looting a 7-11 store during last month’s riots.

Tamika Cobb and Kendra Richard were charged with theft and two counts of burglary, according to a statement released by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS).

Investigators DPSCS and with the Intelligence and Investigative Division responded to a tip that the pair had joined in looting a closed 7-11 convenience store near downtown Baltimore on April 25. That was the first day of major unrest following the April 19 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

Investigators viewed video from the store and identified Richard and Cobb leaving with merchandise. According to The Baltimore Sun, the video showed Richard and Cobb exiting the store with Slim Jims and Tostitos, respectively. Richard is seen wearing yellow sneakers while Cobb is wearing a dark jacket.

 

Caught Looting Baltimore
Kendra Richard and Tamika Cobb looting a Baltimore 7-11 (Youtube screengrab)

According to the statement, the women worked at a Division of Correction facility located in downtown Baltimore. They were placed on leave without pay since their charges include felonies.

“Our Intelligence and Investigative Division did an outstanding job, immediately following-up on this tip,” said Stephen Moyer, secretary of DPSCS. “We will not allow the vast majority of our employees who are honest and hardworking to be tainted by the actions of a few.”

This is not the first scandal to rock the Baltimore city jailhouse. In April 2013, a federal indictment was unsealed which revealed a massive conspiracy between correctional officers and inmates.

Twenty-four correctional officers have been convicted for various offenses related to their involvement with the notorious Black Guerilla Family gang. Many of the officers had sexual relations with the gang members and helped them smuggle drugs into the facility.

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Baltimore Exclusive: Detained Journalist and Eyewitness Give Firsthand Account

The back story:

Ford Fischer is the executive producer of News2share, co-founded with eyewitness Trey Yingst. The pair traveled to Baltimore to cover protests and riots in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death while in custody of six Baltimore police officers.

At 10:08pm on May 2nd, Fischer began shooting footage of officers clearing Baltimore’s streets after curfew. Shortly after, one officer confronted Fischer, who had his press credentials in full view. Approaching officers demanded Fischer “back up” and “give it a rest.” Upon recognizing his credentials, one officer stated “He is credentialed media.” Approaching from behind, another officer brought Fischer to the ground, stating “I don’t care, he’s not going to…” The audio drops off while Fischer’s camera was shut down to the journalist being taken down on concrete. Fischer was handcuffed and told he was violating curfew.

Trey Yingst then began filming. Asking what charges Fischer was facing, Yingst was twice told it was a curfew violation, despite Fisher’s right to cover the scenes as credentialed media.

Upon realizing credentialed media are exempt from curfew violations, the officers quickly change their charge to disorderly conduct carrying a $500 fine and a potential upcoming trial.

Fischer and Yingst spoke with Truth In Media to give a full account of the night. Fischer, from a legal standpoint, cannot at this time provide his full opinion due to the coming court date. What initially began as a casual phone conversation resulted an agreement to record both Fischer and Yingst’s firsthand account:

https://soundcloud.com/ron-noyes/baltimore/

Videos from Baltimore courtesy News2share:

Protesters March for Freddie Gray

Published on Apr 24, 2015
Police in Baltimore are accused of killing a 25-year-old following an arrest earlier this week. The man, Freddie Gray, died shortly after being taken into custody from a severed spine. Kevin Davis, the deputy police commissioner, said Friday that Gray should have received medical attention at the spot of his arrest. Video shows Gray screaming for help as officers carried him to the van. Today protesters assembled in Baltimore to voice their opinions and call for the arrest of the officers involved. While there were less than 100 protesters in this gathering, they were able to disrupt and shut down several Baltimore highways. Thousands are expected to show up on Saturday. Follow us on twitter @news_2_share for the latest from the protests schedule for Saturday.

Baltimore Rioters Destroy Public Property, Loot Businesses

Published on Apr 25, 2015

See scenes from last night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVdRv…
Following what originated as a large but mostly peaceful protest over the death of Freddie Gray, dozens of protesters continued on a separate riot. They used bricks from the ground as well as other heavy objects such as benches to break through glass buildings. In some cases, they simply wanted to cause damage to cars and other objects; in others, they entered and stole items ranging from phones to soda and chips.Victims in the video included a McDonalds and a 7-Eleven.

Baltimore Protest Turns Violent

Published on Apr 25, 2015
Protest of the death of Freddie Gray turns violent. When the demonstration took to the streets, the violence escalates. A running mob looking for trouble finds it eventually.

Baltimore Residents Rob Liquor Store, Taunt Police

Published on Apr 28, 2015
Following a massive riot over the death of Freddie Grey, protesters set cars on fire in the streets of Baltimore. The protesters can be seen ducking down upon hearing what may be gunfire. One drives a car through a fire and directly towards police before making a U-turn. Trey Yingst also captures an exclusive closeup and indoor look at the looters of a Baltimore liquor store.

Baltimore Police Fire Smoke Grenades, Protesters Throw Fireworks

Published on Apr 28, 2015
After a long weekend of unrest in the city of Baltimore, the National Guard has been deployed to help restore order. Tonight a small clash between police and protesters was caught on camera just after the 10 o’clock curfew that the city set for residents. Things used in riot control included, tear gas, pepper balls, paint balls, and other non-lethal items.

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Baltimore Mayor Asks DOJ To Investigate City’s Police Force

At a press conference on Wednesday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that she has asked the Department of Justice to investigate the city’s police force for the practices of excessive use of force and civil rights violations.

Rawlings-Blake said that she sees this investigation as an “essential” part of the process to “reform serious patterns and practices of excessive force, biased policing, and other unconstitutional practices by law enforcement.”

[pull_quote_center]”Throughout my administration, we have taken a number of steps to change the culture and practices of the Baltimore Police Department,” Rawlings-Blake said. “Despite this progress, we all know that Baltimore continues to have a fractured relationship between the police and the community.”[/pull_quote_center]

This investigation will be in addition to the current investigation the FBI and DOJ are conducting, regarding civil rights violations in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died from a severe spinal injury, while in police custody.

Gray’s unexplained death on April 19 was followed by days of peaceful protests, before riots broke out on April 27 prompting Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency, call in the National Guard, and enforce a 10 p.m. curfew.

The curfew was lifted on Sunday, following Baltimore State’s attorney Marilyn Mosby’s announcement on Friday that Gray’s death has been ruled a homicide, and that six officers will face charges.

Rawlings-Blake also said that officers in the Baltimore City Police Department will have body cameras by the end of the year.

I believe we need the assistance of the Department of Justice and civil rights investigation to shore up that foundation that is weak in our city,” Rawlings-Blake said. “At the end of this process, I will hold those accountable, if change is not made.”

Rawlings-Blake’s announcement comes after a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who visited the city of Baltimore on Tuesday.

The Associated Press noted that Lynch pledged to improve the city’s police department after meeting with Freddie Gray’s family.

This is a flashpoint situation,” Lynch said. “We lost a young man’s life and it begins to represent so many things.

Exclusive: Baltimore Teacher Discusses The Side Of The Protests MSM Ignored

Meghann Harris, a teacher at the Baltimore Design School who teaches graphic design and architecture classes to middle and high school students, recently received a great deal of publicity for her Facebook statuses pertaining to the recent protests in Baltimore, Md., and the effect they were having on students.

In an exclusive interview with Truth in Media’s Rachel Blevins, Harris discussed the side of the story that the mainstream media has completely ignored, and she shared the ways her students have responded to the recent rioting and destruction, and turned it into an opportunity to restore their community.

Harris said the first protest she attended was on Saturday, in the western district of Baltimore. She said she was part of a group of people who started near the neighborhood Freddie Gray was from, and then continued down North Avenue, where they joined thousands of others, who marched with them down to City Hall.

[pull_quote_center]“The whole protest was really peaceful,” Harris said. “In fact, at the beginning of the protest, there were two people who got into a fight and the protesters stepped in and helped them to break it up immediately, on their own, without needing any intervention from police. It was amazing, and that was the only altercation we saw all day.”[/pull_quote_center]

While peaceful protests, such as the one Harris was a part of, were held for several days following the mysterious death of Freddie Gray on April 19, those protests garnered little attention from mainstream media. Harris said she saw very few cameramen marching with protesters, and that most stayed near City Hall, waiting for something to happen.

What did receive a great deal of attention were the riots that broke out after a flier circulated through local high schools promoting a planned “purge” of police near Baltimore’s Mondawmin Mall at 3 p.m. on Monday.

Harris took to her Facebook account to post a status about what she witnessed:

Meghann Harris Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post has received nearly 2,000 shares, and was quoted by websites such as Upworthy and the Washington Post.

Harris tells Truth in Media that many students were trapped when their school buses were declared “out of service” and they were stranded in the area where the “purge” was scheduled to take place.

Harris said that she heard her students talking about the flier on Monday morning, and several of them voiced concerns about not being able to get home after school, because they lived in the area where the “purge” was supposed to occur.

After contacting their parents, Harris agreed to transport two of her students who were from the Mondawmin area. She said they left the school at about 2:55 p.m. and were in Mondawmin by 3:05 p.m.

“When we pulled up, we saw that all of the streets in the area had been blocked off, and it took us about 30 minutes just to turn the corner,” said Harris, who went on to explain that while they didn’t see a lot of students in the area rioting, as the flier had promised, they did see lines of police officers, fully armed in riot gear, marching in preparation.

[pull_quote_center]“We saw a line of what looked like 15 to 20 buses that had pulled up and said ‘not in service,’ and the passengers were being evacuated from the bus, into the area where the ‘purge’ was supposed to happen,” Harris said. “Once all of the buses were shut down, there was really no way for a lot of the people to get out of the area.”[/pull_quote_center]

In addition to overlooking the peaceful protests that were held in Baltimore before, during, and after the Monday night riots, the mainstream media has also overlooked the community’s efforts on Tuesday to cleanup and restore the city of Baltimore.

Harris tells Truth in Media that she has been overwhelmed by the willingness from both her fellow teachers and her students to jump in and clean up. She said that she received multiple messages from students on Monday night, asking what they could do to help on Tuesday.

As a result of the riots, Baltimore schools were shut down on Tuesday, and Harris said that several of the teachers from Baltimore Design School joined the school’s principal to pass out lunches to students in need. She said that she and another teacher joined with the organization Communities United to clean up businesses and residential areas.

[pull_quote_center]“There are a lot of really good things happening, and none of those things are getting media coverage,” Harris said. “The most awesome thing we saw on Tuesday was that there were so many people out cleaning and helping out that there actually wasn’t enough to cleanit got to the point where people began cleaning up litter in the neighborhood.”[/pull_quote_center]

Harris said that while a lot of negative media attention has been directed towards the youth of Baltimore, she has witnessed the opposite of what has made headlines. “I haven’t heard a single student say that they weren’t willing to jump in and help,” said Harris, who explained that on Tuesday, there were groups of students all along North Avenue helping in the cleanup efforts.

Harris tells Truth in Media that the national media coverage of Baltimore has also prompted many of her family and friends to reach out to her and to ask if she is safe. She attributed this to the fact that that most people don’t realize that the neighborhoods being affected by the riots are the poor black neighborhoods “the city has forgotten until now.”

While she is frustrated with the public’s perception of Baltimore, Harris said that she couldn’t blame people who don’t live in Baltimore for not understanding it. She explained that all the public is seeing are “crazy perspectives on video cameras that are waiting around all day.

On top of that, the media is not showing what is inciting some of these things,” Harris said. “If you go past a crowd of protesters at Canyon yards, and the sports fans are calling out the n-word to some of the protesters, or they’re calling the white protesters ‘n-word lovers,’ people are going to get upset. But nobody really wants to show any of those things. They just want to show the response. They’re trying to make it look like something that it’s not.”

Harris said that students in Baltimore have PTSD rates that are considered higher than some military service members. She attributed this to extreme poverty, living in areas of drugs and high crime, having parents that have to work multiple jobs to provide for their family, and living in a country with a welfare program that “encourages black mothers to be single, because they receive more government assistance than they would if they had a supportive father in the home.”

Harris tells Truth in Media that while the protesters are demanding justice for Freddie Gray, they are searching for an answer to the bigger problem that is plaguing both the city of Baltimore and the country as a whole.

Freddie Gray is like the catalyst in the situation,” said Harris. She explained that while there are many Americans who are wondering “why all of the sudden are black people getting killed by cops,” this issue is nothing new for those living in poor black communities.

[pull_quote_center]“There are historic deep roots in this country that completely disenfranchise the black community and especially the black inner city youth,” Harris said. “Most of my students could tell me from day one, when I met them, that police brutality happens to black people in Baltimore city, and throughout the country.”[/pull_quote_center]

What Martin Luther King Jr. Said About Violence As Protest- 1964

-The Quest for Peace and Justice Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel Lecture December 11, 1964

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.

In a real sense nonviolence seeks to redeem the spiritual and moral lag that I spoke of earlier as the chief dilemma of modern man. It seeks to secure moral ends through moral means. Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.

I believe in this method because I think it is the only way to reestablish a broken community. It is the method which seeks to implement the just law by appealing to the conscience of the great decent majority who through blindness, fear, pride, and irrationality have allowed their consciences to sleep.

The nonviolent resisters can summarize their message in the following simple terms: we will take direct action against injustice despite the failure of governmental and other official agencies to act first. We will not obey unjust laws or submit to unjust practices. We will do this peacefully, openly, cheerfully because our aim is to persuade. We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself. We will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to persuade with our acts. We will always be willing to talk and seek fair compromise, but we are ready to suffer when necessary and even risk our lives to become witnesses to truth as we see it.”

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VIDEO: Baltimore Mom Smacks Son Around After Seeing Him on TV Throwing Rocks at Cops

Following the mysterious April 19 death of Freddie Gray while in Baltimore police custody, protests erupted last week in Baltimore that have since been hijacked by individuals and groups with nefarious intentions, turning into violent riots. The violence climaxed on Monday as rioters pelted police with rocks, bricks, and other objects, injuring 15 officers. Police were seen throwing rocks back at the rioters. The Governor of Maryland activated the National Guard in response.

In light of reports that teens were taking part in the riots, promoted through a flyer distributed by high school age students on Saturday calling for a “purge” of local police, ABC News notes that Baltimore police issued a tweet asking parents to bring their children home. According to WMAR, one unidentified Baltimore mother did exactly that after seeing her son on television throwing rocks at police. The mother, seen in the above-embedded video provided by Sky News, was caught on camera smacking her son around, aggressively disciplining him for participating in the violence and ordering him to return home.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts applauded a mother, believed to be her, at a Monday press conference, saying, “And if you saw in one scene, you had a mother who grabbed their child who had a hood on his head and she started smacking him on the head because she was so embarrassed. I wish I had more parents that took charge of their kids out there tonight.”

The Washington Post pointed out the fact that the caught-on-video incident has prompted many to call the unidentified mother “mom of the year” for pulling her son out of the fracas.

Influx Of Volunteers Organize To Clean Up Streets Of Baltimore

Baltimore, MD- In response to the chaos and destruction that has taken place during the riots in Baltimore, thousands of volunteers have pledged to help clean up the community through several Facebook events that have been initiated.

A “Baltimore clean-up effort” event has more than two thousand people offering to help, while a similar event in West Baltimore has marked over 700 volunteers. A “Clean up Baltimore!” event is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Local news stations took note of the volunteer cleanup efforts in the city; some of the volunteers set to work early Tuesday morning. “I thought it was my civic duty to come out to restore my neighborhood, to clean up,” resident Myra Keane told CBS Baltimore. “I seen a young man on TV out here by himself cleaning, so I brought out my O’Cedar and I found a trash can while I was walking up the street and I just started picking up trash.”