Remember when the Baltimore Police Department was telling all of these stories about “Bloods” and “Crips” uniting to “destroy” the city and its “heroic” police force?
Now city leaders are coming forward and calling out the police for these claims. Last Thursday several leaders publicly questioned the Baltimore Police Department as to why they issued a public warning the morning of Freddie Gray’s funeral. That warning claimed that police officers were being targeted by a united Blood-Crip alliance that would not rest until every Baltimore officer was dead.
Instead of allowing the community to mourn the untimely death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore City Police hijacked the attention and painted themselves as the victims.
Now, months later, it is coming out that the whole thing was invented. The police made it all up. They didn’t have a shred of credible evidence to support the claims they were making.
In fact, much the opposite was true. Bloods, Crips and other gangs were uniting to protect the community, to stop looting and violence and pledging to end fighting between their circles.
Instead of praising this cessation of violence between these gangs, the police announced on April 27 that a “credible threat” from the Bloods, Crips and Black Guerrilla Family had made it clear that these “criminal” forces had united to target officers.
According to documentation and supporting interviews obtained by The Baltimore Sun, the police made it all up.
“I knew all along it was a bunch of baloney,” City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young told the Sun. “They owe the council and the public an explanation for why they put this false information out there.”
The Sun reports that “the police warning was circulated in a news release at 11:27 a.m. on the day of Gray’s funeral, two days after protests over his death turned violent.”
As well, police were busy spreading rumors of teenagers engaging in a “purge”. That referred to the widespread, chaotic violence in the movie by the same name.
It was only after police spread these rumors far and wide that the violence actually started, according to the Sun.
“Within hours, the city descended into a night of rioting and looting.”
The police are standing by their claims, saying that there was a real “threat” that was “imminent and consistent with previous threats.” They just don’t have any proof or documentation of the source of these “credible threats.”
City Councilman Brandon Scott told police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts as well as other leaders in the department, that the FBI has discredited these “threats.”
He wrote in an email Thursday that “it is extremely unacceptable and put the lives of citizens, officers and others in danger.”
“Falsifying a threat of this magnitude during a highly tense time should result in the strongest penalty possible,” Scott added. “If we are going to repair our city, this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated.”
Shayne Buchwald, a spokeswoman for the FBI added that agents interviewed their gang sources and they could not come up with a single source that corroborated what the Baltimore police claimed.
City Councilman Nick Mosby said that the Police Department’s warning about this alleged “threat” was “problematic at best.”
“When you put out incendiary statements like that, and you don’t have credible information, that’s a problem,” Mosby explained. “The lack of communication, and communication that was not factual, are really the variables of a disaster.”
Mosby said the police were playing on and manipulating the public’s fears. He said that “police need to come out and communicate why they thought it was a credible threat.”
“Folks in my area, as soon as it came out, they didn’t believe it one bit,” he added. “It’s unfortunate to find it wasn’t credible.”
(Article by Reagan Ali and S. Wooten)