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20 years


I know you didn't ask...but here's what
happens when Baltimore joins Detroit on
the dung-heap of American cities.

Let's begin with Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake before we talk about what I believe was the unwarranted arrest of Freddie Gray, a black man, by Baltimore police on April 12, 2015 which led to the declaration of his death on April 19. It's important to talk about the mayor first since it was Rawling-Blake's public remark that was taken as tacit approval by blacks in Baltimore (and gang members from anywhere else) to riot, loot and destroy in the name of Freddie Gray. Rawling-Blake's comment that she wanted to give distraught minorities space to "express themselves" was taken by Baltimore police as a "soft-glove" order from "on-high," that hamstrung them, preventing them from arresting looters when the violence began. Had Rawlings-Blake not spoken her own politically-motivated racial views, Rawlings-Blakeits likely that with minor problems in an otherwise quasi-peaceful protest on April 25, the loud, anti-police eulogy for Freddie Gray might not have escalated into a bloody riot that was reminiscent of the looting in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31, 2005 in which 1,833 people died and, between the looters and the flood damage, the monetary losses from Katrina exceeded $108 billion. In 2005, the day before Katrina, the population of New Orleans was 455 thousand. Today it's 379 thousand, or 17% less.

Rawlings-Blake ignited the firestorm that followed when she said she was going to protect the right of the people of Baltimore to protest, saying: "It's a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure that [the people] were protected from the cars and other things that were going on [as] we gave those who wished to destroy space to do that, as well."

With demands for her resignation swirling around her head, and with the mayor hiding behind the bigotry of Al Sharpton, Rawlings-Blake used her Facebook page for damage control, insisting that she "...did not instruct police to give space to protesters who were seeking to create violence or destruction of property..." attempting to mitigate her statement that she only wished to "give those who wished to destroy space to do that..." by clarifying what she meant as "...giving peaceful demonstrators room to share their message," adding that, in doing so, "...unfortunately those who were seeking to incite violence also had space to operate." When the Brietbart News Network accurately reported the mayor's statement, and watched the Baltimore police respond to the initial outbursts by doing nothing, the people of Baltimore correctly interpreted the mayor's wishes, particularly when Rawlings-Blake also said "...it was a delicate balancing act...We worked hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate..." that the mayor intended for the police to do nothing unless what happened, happened.

Of course when the looting and destruction of private property began, it was too late for the police to stop it. In fact, on the morning the protests began, Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (only the second Republican governor to hold office in Maryland in over 40 years) ordered the Maryland National Guard into readiness, expecting the Baltimore mayor to ask for troops to help police rescue the nation's 26th largest city. When it didn't happen, Hogan's office tried to reach Rawlings-Blake without avail. When she finally asked for help, it was too late. The leftwing media, of course, tried to blame Hogan because, in the 63% black city of Baltimore, rioting and looting are a constitutionally-protected form of protest. Stopping it was someone else's job since the perception of the black majority population is that regardless of the ethnicity of the population, the "mastas" in the State capitols are always white.

Which may be why Rawlings-Blake viewed the Gray tragedy as a political opportunity, and why she made her "give the people space" speech. It wasn't a slip-of-the-tongue, it was a political gambit. Maryland has had two Republican governors since Spiro Agnew [R-MD] resigned the office to become Richard Nixon's vice president in 1969. First was one-term governor Robert Ehrlich in 2003 and second is the current, newly-installed GOP governor, Larry Hogan who took office in January. Marilyn Mosby.jpgMayor Rawlings-Blake is confident that Hogan, like seven of the eight Republicans of the 64 governors elected in Maryland will only win one term in office. Only one GOP governor, Theodore McKeldon in 1951, who rode Dwight D. Eisenhower's coattails to reelection in 1954, served two terms. If Hogan carries the blame for the Maryland riot of 2015 into history as Rawlings-Blake and, I believe, State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, surmise he will for not supplying National Guard troops fast enough to protect Baltimore and, more important to them, eulogizing Freddie Gray for dying at the hands of Baltimore police; and if enough of the minority voters remember the political rhetoric of both Rawlings-Blake and Mosby in selling out their oaths of office for future votes, then I'd guess the odds are pretty good that Rawlings-Blake expects to be the 65th governor of Maryland. And, the odds are pretty good that Mosby sees herself as the next mayor of Baltimore.That would be a tragedy for the State of Maryland, and worse, for the people of Baltimore whose city is rapidly becoming Detroit.

When Baltimore State's Attorney Mosby outlined her indictment of the six Baltimore police officers (three black, three white): Officer William G. Porter (who met up with the van after Gray was subdued and likely, had already suffered his fatal contact with a bolt in the van. Porter asked Gray if he needed medical assistance. Border-cops4.jpgGray told him, twice, that he did.Porter reportedly did nothing to get that medical assistance. Porter was charged with involuntary manslaughter.) Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr. was the driver of the transport van. (He was charged with one count of second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and second degree assault). Police Sgt. Alicia White was reportedly sent to the van after Goodson alerted the jail that Gray had complained of having trouble breathing. It appears that instead of instructing Goodson to deliver Gray to a hospital, Goodson was told to pick up another prisoner and take both to the detention center.

Officers Garrett Miller, Edward Niro and Lt. Brian Rice were the three on bicycle duty at the demonstration who were arrested Freddie Gray and put him in the transfer van.

What is confusing is that Sgt. White appears to have been sent in response to someone's alerting the lock-up of Gray's complaints. White could have diverted the transport to a hospital even though Goodson was under instructions to go directly to the detention center. It appears that Gray may have already been in a comma and unresponsive when White connected with the van. Goodson was charged with second degree murder. Rice was charged with involuntary manslaughter, two counts of misconduct and one count of false arrest.

Mosby told the public in her news conference that Rice (who, like Miller and Niro, was not in the transport van when the "delivery" was being made to the detention center) was taken to a mental hospital in 2012 because of concerns about his mental health after intimidating the mother of his child. It almost appears, at least to me, that Rice was charged because he would be the easiest to tar and feather as a crazy racist. Rice was apparently the one who made eye contact with Gray just before the protester ran. If DC has a law criminalizing making eye contact with police officers, I think every person who lives in the District of Columbia needs to move.

The officer who actually took Gray into custody was Garrett Miller who chased him down. Miller had him on the ground when Rice and Nero caught up with them. That was the first time Gray complained that he could not breathe and asked for an inhaler. Although he was only 23 years old, the fact that he asked for an inhaler suggests Gray was either asthmatic.or had some other pulmonary or cardiac problem. At this point someone with a cell phone began filming Gray being hauled off to the transport van. The video showed Gray literally being dragged to the van. My first thought, watching that video, was that Gray had been beaten or otherwise injured in his apprehension. However, someone else videotapped Gray at the transport. He was walking normal and got into the van with only nominal assistance. But, based on his plea for help breathing, Gray should have been treated as a medical emergency who should have been transported in an ambulance, not a paddy wagon, to a hospital. The fact that he wasn't, on its own standing, doesn't merit the charges of second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter filed by Mosby. It does, however, merit the charges of negligence or misconduct.

State's attorney Marilyn Mosby committed an egregious rush to judgment because it was politically expedient to do so. Her philosophical motivation is evidenced by the words in her speech to Baltimore's radicals "...to the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I have heard your call of 'No justice, no peace.'" She sounds like a protége of Saul Alinksky. "Where there is no justice," she added, "there is no peace."

Mosby's rhetoric at her "news conference" can hardly be construed as a news, It was a rules for radicals social progressive call to arms. The Baltimore Police Department's Internal Affairs Division had barely begun its investigation when the officers, who appear not to have been interrogated by the State's Attorney and barely questioned by the police, were charged. Logic suggests they should have been charged with the illegal arrest of Freddie Gray. They arrested him for having a knife on his person when he "fled." The knife was a legal pocket knife. The events that transpired suggest Rice likely ordered the arrest of Gray. Since Gray's arrest was illegal, Rice, Miller and Niro are likely legally culpable for everything that happened to Gray in the van—up to and including his death. But logic suggests that at that moment, long before a formal investigation had taken place, culpability should have been limited to either malfeasance or negligence with charges of second degree murder or manslaughter decided, later, by a grand jury. Kangaroo justice operates the way Mosby handled the filing of charges for the State of Maryland.

So why the rush to the filing of charges that held a possible combined sentence of 176 years in prison for the six defendants? An early statement by Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts suggested the rush to judgment was due to a deadline imposed on his department by Mayor Rawlings-Blake. Batts noted to the media that his department completed its investigation a day ahead of time. Mosby, on the other hand, told the media she was doing her own investigation saying "...we're not relying solely on [police] findings, but rather on the facts that we have gathered and verified." The question is: were Mosby's "findings" based on the consensus of the rioters who made it clear they disagreed with the implication of news reports which claimed an, as yet, unidentified prisoner in the other cell of the transport van issued a written statement that Gray was banging himself against the metal walls of his containment area in an attempt to injure himself sufficiently to win a lawsuit alleging police brutality?

However, statements during interrogation by Internal Affairs officers of that witness appear to countermand his sworn statement, when he told those officers that Gray was "pretty much quiet" when he et the transport enroute. It was at this stop where Sgt. Alicia White met the transport to check on Gray.

Goodson said that Gray became troublesome after he stopped the van at Baker Street where he was met by Rice, Niro and Miller who had not completed their paperwork on Gray. The white officers took Gray out of the van and shackled his legs. It was at that point, after Rice, Miller and Niro returned Gray to the van—headfirst on the floor—and the van resumed it's journey to the lock-up, that the noise began in Gray's compartment.

What likely was taking place was Gray, with shackled legs, having trouble getting to his feet in the moving vehicle so he could sit. It was also likely at this time that Gray fell and struck the protruding metal nut and bolt. There was apparently enough noise in the compartment that Goodson stopped at Dolphin Street and Druid Hill Avenue to check the condition of his prisoner. Officer William Porter met him at that intersection. Porter asked Gray if he needed medical attention. Gray told him he did—twice, telling Porter he that he could not breathe. Porter helped Gray off the floor and onto the bench. It's unclear if Porter advised Goodson of Gray's complaints and suggested Goodson take him to the hospital. It would be my guess that Porter thought Gray's breathing difficulty was the result on laying on the floor because Porter helped him into a sitting position on the bench in the compartment. If that's true, then Porter would not have suggested a side trip to the hospital, believing he had alleviated Gray's breathing problem.

So, instead of taking Gray to the hospital, Goodson drove to North and Pennsylvania Avenues to pick up another man already in custody. Sgt. Alicia White met the transport van here. Goodson opened the door to Gray's confinement cell. He was again laying on the floor. Speaking to the back of his head, White asked Gray if he was okay. Gray did not respond. White did nothing even though she was sent specifically because Gray complained of breathing problems. White followed the van to the Western District police station where she and two other officers went to remove Gray from the van. They discovered he had suffered cardiac arrest and was no longer breathing.

A police investigation initially seemed to support claims from Goodson and Porter that the noise coming from the containment area in the van suggested that Gray, whose feet and hands were shackled, but he was otherwise not restrained to the bench, was deliberately throwing himself around in the cell in order to deliberately hurt himself. The abrasion on his neck reportedly was caused from coming into contact with the protruding metal bolt in the wall of the confinement cage. That was likely what caused his death.

Gray's death does not appear to be a deliberate homicide nor even negligent homicide, but a series of tragic mishaps resulting from a false arrest engineered by Lt. Brian Rice, and Officers Garrett Miller and Edward Niro, who chased down an innocent man because he "locked eyes" with a police officer and, finally, because that innocent man was carrying a legal pocket knife on his person.

Before looking at the complicity of the City of Baltimore in this tragedy, we need to take a closer look at the State's attorney who is. I believe, complicit in this tragedy because her personal relationships with parties involved should have disqualified her from pursuing the prosecution of this case. But, in my personal opinion, that would not have served Marilyn Mosby's career objectives.

I have a feeling that the Baltimore Six are about to experience the Amtrak Prosecution of the year—they are about to be royally railroaded unless the governor asks the Maryland Attorney General to take over the investigation of the tragic death of Freddie Gray and, without bias, any subsequent trial of those culpable in that tragedy. Why? Because, otherwise, the engineer driving that train will be Marilyn Mosby—and she's the last person who should be allowed behind that throttle. The train will be fueled by Freddie Gray's family lawyer, Billy Murphy, who was the primary mentor of Mosby's legal career. In fact, in Mosby's recent campaign for State's Attorney for Baltimore, Murphy was one of Mosby's largest donors, and the only one (reports note) who donated the maximum $5,000 to Mosby's campaign. Murphy is also the Gray family's lawyer who will be representing their lawsuit against the City of Baltimore and the Baltimore Police Department in the aftermath of a successful prosecution of the Baltimore Six charged in Freddie Gray's death.

Additionally, Mosby's Amtrak Express is also fueled by her husband, Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby who needs to satisfy his constituents. During the Baltimore Riots, Nick Mosby was reportedly front and center, helping to fan the sparks of police animosity into flames, and using his official position to berate the national media for ignoring Baltimore during the protests before they turned violent. While Nick Mosby told the media that he believed that violence is not acceptable, he also argued that riots are indicative of symptoms of something much bigger than Freddie Gray—and even much bigger than Baltimore. Nick Mosby is correct while being dead wrong. What is happening in Baltimore, and what happened to Detroit is what happens when cities and States succumb to one party rule—particularly social progressive one-party rule.

On Friday, May 1, 2015 when Marilyn Mosby announced that arrest warrants had been issued for the Baltimore Six, a majority of Baltimore's population—many of them Nick Mosby's constituents—were elated. To a few, this was about justice for Freddie Gray. To more of them, this was a victory against the Baltimore Police Dept. In reality, it was a sad day for the City of Baltimore because one party rule won a big victory. Without waiting for The People to speak through a grand jury on the fate of Baltimore Six who protect their city, one person took that voice from them and told them she'd won a victory for them by taking their voice from them. A grand jury is the voice of the people. A prosecutor who convinces a judge to issue bench warrants speaks for herself.

Add to Marilyn Mosby, Rawlings-Blakes' rise to power in what is now nearly bankrupt Baltimore, Maryland is just one more example of political incompetence in a 63% African-American minority-majority city where Democratic political rule is, according to an AP report in 2013—(even without the liability from the lawsuits stemming from the Freddie Gray incident which are coming)—a city already on an irreversible path to bankruptcy. Mayor Rawlings-Blake hired Public Financial Management, a Philadelphia-based financial consulting firm to prepare fiscal estimates for Baltimore two years ago. The report, obtained by the Associated Press prior to its release to Baltimore City Council members, indicated a shortfall of $545 million in budget deficits over the next decade due to the city's propensity to spend more than it collects in taxes.

The problem with the PFM estimate is that it doesn't take into account the city's infrastructure needs or out-of-line retirement benefit and retiree health care packages negotiated by labor unions for city employees years ago. When you add Baltimore's unfunded liabilities, Baltimore's revenue shortfall will reach $2.2 billion instead of $545 million in 10 years. Baltimore will join Detroit as one of the two most destitute black-ruined metropolitan cities in America. In 2003, Detroit, Michigan was the 10th largest city in the United States. In 2013 it had lost about 8% of its population and ranked 18th. When Katrina was over, New Orleans lost 17% of its population. Riots and catastrophic natural disasters are population killers.

When all of the lawsuits against Rawlings-Blake and the city of Baltimore are totaled, there will be hundreds of millions of dollars of new debt added to Baltimore's budget problems although the city, and the mayor (who very likely could be personally named in each lawsuit because of her tacit approval of the riot) and her heel-dragging on calling in the National Guard. The money owed to the plaintiffs will be assessed to the city's business owners and.in many cases, the even wealthier black slumlords who profit from the poor. The increased debt will likely bankrupt the city of Baltimore causing up to half of Baltimore's affluent white population and about 10% of the city's affluent blacks to seriously consider leaving Baltimore where the grass is greener and taxes are not.




Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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