Sunday, May 3, 2015

Freddie Gray, Getting Arrested, and The Problem of Crying Wolf

Let me start out this article by stating, "I am not making a declaration of innocence for the Baltimore police arrested and charged with the murder of Freddie Gray." I must do so because the last time I tried to discuss particular issues with relation to police and the death of a citizen, when I stated how we must examine the evidence and allow justice to take its course without jumping to conclusions and being a lynch mob, I got a lot of ridiculous verbal assaults, people calling me a racist and a defender of police brutality. I wish again, to bring out some salient points that folks may not have considered, not having a full understanding of criminal and cop behavior and I appeal to readers to take in what I am saying without assuming I am turning a blind eye to bad cops and bad cop behavior. I am fully aware that there are some less than stellar police officers on the street and I have no problem with them being removed from duty and convicted of any crimes they have committed. Considering the kind of job it is, it is hard to avoid getting some cops with personality disorders who excessively love their uniform, their gun, and power and abuse all three of these. However, I want due process in such matters and I do not want to have law enforcement painted with an unfair brush or so terrorized by the public (through rioting, assault, and straight-up murder) that we no longer have applicants for the job anymore because I think the citizens will not find themselves happy with a major reduction of police patrolling the streets and delayed response to calls for assistance.

I am a Marylander; I live just twenty minutes south of Baltimore and I have been saddened by the rioting in the streets and the rush to judgment by the prosecutor who appears to me to be responding more to the unrest and politics than to the facts. I am greatly concerned that the charges against the six police officers are not well thought out and not necessarily supported by evidence. Certainly, in the end, she could be correct that there was improper behavior by these officers, but I am rather disturbed by the content of the charges and how quickly they were handed down. Furthermore, I am terribly disturbed by thy the lynch mentality of so many in Baltimore and the martyrization of Freddie Gray.

What I want to do here is at least explain what the six officers charged with a crime might have been dealing with that the media so conveniently does not discuss. This does not mean they are innocent but, on the other hand, it may turn out that they are.

Freddie Gray is a drug dealer. I don't know what he deals but it is not marijuana because his arrest records continuously state this. In other words, he deals poison to the community and helps destroy it.   Freddie Gray has some two dozen arrests in Maryland since the day he turned eighteen. I point out "since the day he turned eighteen" because I doubt he started committing criminal acts regularly the minute he celebrated his birthday; in other words, we can't see his juvenile record and it is highly likely he has one.

What Freddie Gray's record also means is that he has had years of regular contact with the police. If he had been arrested some two dozen times, I can guarantee you, he has had five times more regular contact with the police that did not result in arrest. The police were very familiar with Freddie and Freddie was very familiar with the police. The police have dealt with this man over and over and over again and  two things can happen when cops have such regular contact with criminals and which one of these two things happens tends to depend on the behavior of the criminal. If, each time they have to make an arrest, the criminal goes quietly, the police may develop an almost fond relationship with the detainee. "Come on, Freddie, time to take a ride again." They may pat him on the shoulder, shoot the breeze with him, and, when they see him on the street, they may say "Good morning" and encourage him to stay out of trouble.

On the other hand, they may get sick of dealing with him if he is regular pain in the ass. Some individuals always fight the police when they get arrested. They complain, whine, struggle, punch, spit, bite, and make it difficult to cuff them. They constantly cry wolf..."Your hurting me! The cuffs are too tight! You're killing me! I can't breathe! I have chest pain! I'm dying! I need to go to the hospital!" and they do this EVERY TIME THEY ARE ARRESTED.

So, what really happened with Freddie Gray? Was he the compliant sort who was brutalized and neglected by six vicious cops? Or was he the defiant kind who had fought and complained every time they dealt with him? Did he indeed slam himself around in the van and cause himself injury? Did when he complain he needed medical attention receive no help from the officers because this was the thousandth time they had heard him make such a demand and they thought he was crying wolf yet again? From the limited evidence we have so far, we see a noncompliant Freddie Gray refusing to walk to the van (the officers have to hold him up as his feet drag) and we have a call in which the officer driving states a passenger is banging about in the back; the vehicle is stopped and Freddie Gray is then put in leg shackles. More we do not yet know.

So none of us yet fully understand what really happened with these six police officers and Freddie Gray. We don't know exactly how Freddie Gray got injured and exactly who was at fault and how much they were at fault.

I hope all the facts, can be clearly discerned, that they come out in court and that the six officers can get a fair trial in Maryland. There should be justice in this case but let's be sure it is really justice. Criminals don't deserved to be murdered by errant cops but police officers also don't deserved to be convicted of murder for just doing their job. And, let us make sure that we, the public, also don't "Cry Wolf" every time there is an incident; let's be sure we have true police brutality or any fight against it will become meaningless.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

May 3, 2015


Selina Grissom said...

Thank you! Clear headed and well thought out. Hopefully, the community and country as a whole will stop immediately jumping to conclusions and let the system do what it's supposed to do: find the truth.

Pat Brown said...

There is no question, Selina, that the system is not always so good, that it is a mix of good and bad, fair and corrupt. I have stood up many times against the system myself, sometimes quite publicly. I have worked with good police departments and not so good police departments. Sometimes I have been treated well and other times terribly. I have had a Sheriff come out and slander me in the media and I have had Sheriffs speak well of me. I have worked with great cops and total assholes. I have seen police act rightly and police act wrongly. I have seen the system do its job and sometimes completely fail. While there does indeed need to be police accountability and oversight, t he one thing for sure though is that we cannot encourage criminal behavior in the community and against the police. There seems to be a trend now to do this, and from what I am seeing, criminal behavior is presently being feted as perfectly okay and police behavior as being highly criminal. When the evidence doesn't support this is certain individual cases, I am not seeing community leaders coming out and saying they were wrong.

gran66762 said...

Good read, Pat! As always, you explained it as it should be. Well thought out, and innocent until proven guilty! We will see..Now I just pray that those who give witness, tell the truth! Unlike that which happened in Ferguson...Thanks again!

dadgum said...

Thank you, Pat. Well stated.

Anonymous said...

Lets consider the environment in which he was bought up, was the area equal to other areas? where is chances in life as equal as others...or did he represent many people of such environments, the outcasts who become despised and trapped in a cycle of no hope...tarred with a brush.

Does the study of people show us anything when we find they have come from such environments...are there any trends that show us anything?

Take the word ..Poor.. ( lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society) now if we add ly we make poorly. (unwell) ...there is a economic link there that should be studied again.

What about arrests in terms of quantities of people and places ...and their results in conviction are they representative of a Just system?

Is Hollywood a drugs free zone ? Do people in Beverley hills get involved in such lifestyles? Are they responded to the same by law enforcement.. including the troubled pasts in their backgrounds?
Or do some actually get held up on a pedestal and get TV shows - become inspirational characters to fellow thespians etc etc?

Do we all observe the world in its whole ? Do we see any trends?

I will say this ...Bet I can tell you the verdict and I haven't read anything other than the post regarding the case.


Lostribe said...

Your thoughts echo my thoughts. And I will say what it could be a conflict of interest for you to say, additionally. I blame the media for a lot of this. They find the most sensational possible scenario and then they blow that up and try to leave anything which could detract from that version on the cutting room floor. For example, the day the charges were made, I searched everywhere for photos of the six charged officers. It was not until the next day that one local Fox affiliate published them, and I believe it's because three of the officers charged are black, including the driver who has the most serious charges. I think the media didn't want things to calm down any sooner than they had to.

In the case of Michael Brown, once it was clear where public sentiment lay, the last known photo of Michael Brown, captured as he held a convenience store clerk up by the collar, disappeared from mainstream media reports, replaced from then on with a much younger innocent looking boy photo. Media is no longer investigative journalism.

And of course I totally agree that it's foolish for people to rush to judgment before all evidence is in. Even my friends do it. It reminds me of nothing more than the way people pick a sports team to side with. It is based on nothing more than blind loyalty and nothing will shake their views, not even evidence.

There can't be justice until people are willing to hear the truth on both sides.

Thanks for being a well-informed and uniquely positioned voice of reason.

Jennifer Grinberg said...

Well said, Pat. And I agree with both Anonymous & Lostribe. I don't think there is a one size fits all answer.I think for the most part, there are few thinkers who seriously weigh the info without bias.

Yesterday, I met a young graduate of the Citadel who shared some disturbing info with me about his friends. This fellow was telling me he had 3 friends who were on the force, 1 on LI & the other 2 in the City, who let their uniform go to their head. When together, they were sharing stories of how they chose to do traffic stops & not based on legit reasons but as a game to one up their fellow officers. The young man I was speaking with said he told them he was disappointed in their behavior & called them out on it. A discussion ensued & he said he believed he had some impact on giving them food for thought.

There are good & bad in all walks of life & we need to not let the bad or corrupt give us reason to paint all with a broad brush of doom & destruction. I think we each need to do our part in imparting to others, as Pat did, the logical, objective way to approach matters.

Just my 2 cents!

Gee, looking at the preview, I'm not sure this will be published in a proper format. Hopefully, the preview is NOT an indication of how my post will appear.

Anonymous said...

Extending on my thoughts and observations of these type of cases, which appear many times to be looking to ignite a civil war, especially in their handling with some of the media. It makes one think deeply, and focus their observations ...second look every thing.

The world to many people seems a Crazy place and hard to fathom - many retreat to what they think are safe zones amongst family and shun the world from one wishes to linger in death and affects our moods...confirming that upset elsewhere in other non related people impacts on US ALL.
Humans with empathy are best in a world of love....not hate and revenge.

But in the meantime this madness grows and people are reluctant to get involved through fear - justifiable fear but a fear that will get worse until they have no choice but to face it.

Myself I am prepared now in my life to speak what I feel - wherever that takes me....I can see what is happening in the world and it is evil, are we really making then world better with the methods been used...really? truthfully.

Can I ask people to imagine if there were TWO lineages of "HUmans"
Think of it as a thought experiment.

Parallel worlds living side by side but not in harmony. Does that stretch ones thinking?

Lets for the sake of argument call the one Lineage ..(the rounds)....and the other (the triangles).

In this scenario can we imagine that other than biological differences that occur on a sub atomic level, the day to day differences in appearance of the two lineages are minimal.. and that everything appears as one another.
I am not talking about races .but a parallel peoples which is contained in all races all over the world.

If we are to understand what is happening we have to think out of the box, slow down and work with our senses and let truth light the way.

At some point these type of cases will become increasingly regular - things are already beginning to speed up.

If we don't start looking more deeply into life and observing the world in which we live...then the future may become grave for one of the lineages in such a scenario.

So lets all start looking closely and not fear to be who we are and say what we see.
Maybe then we can get to the bottom of the worlds growing unrest.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Pat for having a clear head. I nor my children or grandchildren have ever been arrested. However I raised my kids to respect L.E. My daughter married L.E. My grandsons are military.
I have a very dear cousin whose son has been arrested so many times I'm sure he doesn't even know. He deals drugs,doesn't pay his child support to three mommas,breaks in and steals from people. Cops come to arrest him,he runs,he hides,he cries. When they finally catch him,he fights and they beat the crap out of him. He's well known to the city,county,state cops and the drug enforcement. They see him in a car they flip on the lights because he probably is holding or have an out standing warrent. He runs. Then because he knows now they r going to kick the crap out of him,he calls his mom to drive him to turn himself in. He puts his parents thu hell and they allow it. So I understand both sides. I agree Freddy was most likely crying wolf. What happened I don't know. I hope the TRUTH comes out. Thank you for not taking the popular side of the road but the road to truth. Liz Parsons

Pat Brown said...

Ad hominem attack will be removed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying the disturbances for us. There was a similar rampage in some British cities not long ago. It all seems points to a breakdown in authority but do we wish to have more authority? More education, may be.