19 July 2013

Police Kill Man During Traffic Stop -- Official Account Disputed

By A.F. James MacArthur Ph.A.L.

There's been another "in-custody death" of a citizen at the hands of the Baltimore Police Department. If you're unfamiliar, that's what they seem to call it when cops kill an unarmed person. Last time this happened, the independent Office of The Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide. Remember Anthony Anderson?

“...they beat this man to death...”

Of course, Anderson's death being ruled a homicide was an inconvenient fact for Baltimore's State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein. After sitting on his hands for a few months, likely waiting for public uproar to die down, he decided there was no need to charge officers responsible for the killing of this unarmed man.

Never mind the worse offense committed by Anderson the day he died, was trying to run away from police. Apparently this is now a capital crime, punishable by immediate on-sight, summary execution.

Like Thursday's incident, which happened around 8 p.m. in the area of the 1300 block of Kitmore Road, police initially claimed Anderson may have had drugs on him (always a good reason to kill a suspect). They even alleged Anderson swallowed the drugs in an attempt to hide evidence. Eventually, the autopsy found no drugs in Mr. Anderson's system, the police department quietly backed away from this false accusation on a dead man.

Conflicting Reports

On Thursday's incident, police say the yet-to-be-identified man killed, was in a car pulled over for a traffic stop. There were suspected drugs in the car. At some point police attempted to arrest the man. He resisted arrest, and according to Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez, at some point he suffered from “medical distress.”

Numerous eye witnesses told reporters a very different sounding story (listen to audio from one eye witness). They claim the man offered no resistance at all and was kicked, stomped, pepper sprayed and beaten to death.

At this point, considering their poor track record and numerous occurrences of Baltimore Police issuing false reports and generally misleading the public, our bet is with the witnesses on this one.

We're told internal affairs and the homicide investigation unit are on the case.

Thankfully this incident has already garnered significant outrage on social media and is also getting lots of coverage by local news outlets. Heightened public attention and scrutiny should help ensure a full, fair and thorough investigation. We'll see what happens.

This is an early version a commentary of a current news item. Story may be edited and or updated later.

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