Court filings have recently revealed that Baltimore Police Lieutenant Brian Rice had a pattern of violence, even before chasing down Freddie Gray in the moments that led up to his assault and arrest.
Rice had been ordered to stay away from man who court documents say had legitimate “fear of imminent harm or death.”
The Lieutenant has now been suspended in the police assault that led to the severed spine and ultimately death of Gray. That death, and the preceding assault that took place in the police van, has now sparked federal inquiry.
Rice is currently one of the six officers who is suspended with pay, pending a criminal inquiry, as to their roll in the death of Freddie Gray. But Rice has been confirmed as the officer who first chased Gray before he was thrown into a police van and had his neck “80% severed.”
But Rice had previously been accused of threatening to murder an innocent man as part of what court documents call a “pattern of intimidation and violence.” They took this matter so seriously that they issued a temporary restraining order against the lieutenant.
Rice found himself under court order to stay away from the man he had been threatening.
The documents reveal that these threats came in the form of physical confrontations and even one “armed standoff” that resulted in a 911 call, as well as officers from two departments defusing the situation for an hour and a half… Somehow, Rice remained free, in spite of these incidences.
“I am seeking protection immediately,” the Carroll County, Maryland, court documents from January 2013 read. The Guardian UK has obtained these documents, which have not yet been released. The man’s name has thus far remained protected, as he says he fears his life would be in serious jeopardy if the Baltimore police decided to retaliate on behalf of Rice.
The man went on to say in his filings that Rice’s behavior caused him “to have constant fear for my personal safety” as well as a “fear of imminent harm or death from Brian Rice”.
A separate time, also filed separately with the court, Rice even had his firearms confiscated because the threat to the man was considered so seriously. But a judge lifted this protective order within only a week, saying that he saw no basis in the law for it to continue.
Back in 2013, the man says that Rice even came to his house at 2am, very drunk and saying that he “planned to kill” him.
“I witnessed Brian Rice remove a black semi-automatic handgun from the trunk of his vehicle,” he wrote in the filings.
The man called 911, prompting numerous officers to respond.
“They remained on scene for approximately one and a half hours,” he continued. “Brian Rice was allowed to leave on foot.”
But the sheriff’s department spokesman claims that there is no record of that incident. “We were probably there as backup,” he claimed.
After and before that, he didn’t even bother calling 911. “What good will it do?” his wife said. “He abuses his power as a police supervisor and no one believes us.”
In the months that followed, Rice sent “numerous harassing and sexually explicit text messages” on his Baltimore police department-issued BlackBerry.
Another time, Rice came to the man’s house, and was “racing the engine” while flashing the headlights and moving closer and closer to the man.
“This caused me to become distraught and fear my life was about to end,” he said, adding that he was “terrified and had immense fear” of the lieutenant.
Meanwhile, police had no comment on this history of violence, instead choosing to focus on how they are “very concerned about the rhetoric of the protests” that have followed the death of Gray last week.
“The images seen on television look and sound much like a lynch mob,” Baltimore’s fraternal order of police said, invoking the image of police as a persecuted minority.
(Article by Reagan Ali)