West Baltimore group details police misconduct

Posted at 10:47 PM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 07:29:12-05

People who live in West Baltimore say there's a deep seeded mistrust of the Baltimore City Police Department, and a major divide between the officers and folks who live on these streets.

"My family never got to see evidence that they reviewed to justify my brother's murder," said Tarlera Marrow.

Tuesday night the 'No Boundaries Coalition' released a 32-page report titled: 'Over-Policed, Yet Underserved.’  Inside it says "police misconduct has shaped the perceptions, attitudes, and relationships between law enforcement and the community."       

Back in May they started talking with people who live in Sandtown-Winchester and gathered 57 accounts from people who witnessed or experienced what they consider police misconduct.  All of the findings are based on interviews. 

One man said "The officer picked me up and slammed me on my face, took my back pack off, and threw all my books out, and when they didn't find anything kicked me in my stomach."       

Now, the group wants action.

"The Baltimore Police Department should incentivize officers to live in the communities where they work,” said Rebecca Nagle with the No Boundaries Coalition.  “The Baltimore Police Department should also reinstate relationship building programs that introduce police to the community and community to police."

The report includes 27 recommendations for policy change to improve community-police relations like increased civilian oversight of the BPD, implementing community policing models, and rebuilding trust with residents.

"We hope that the community residents are more aware of what's going on, that they learn their rights and that we get the attention of elected officials to make Baltimore City more accountable, and to institute community policing policies that would help us have a better relationship with the residents and police department," said No Boundaries Coalition member, Ashiah Parker.       

ABC2 News reached out to police, and a spokesperson says they didn't get to fully review the report, so they can't comment right now.

Last week Commissioner Kevin Davis released a statement saying in part,

"I understand that many reform advocates and legislators are looking for ways to increase the civilian involvement in the police hearing board process.  I am willing to engage in these conversations, and would be open to a solution that increases transparency while at the same time preserving the integrity of police disciplinary proceedings."