Defense attorney Scott Greenfield tweets about the Baltimore police (defts is short for defendants):
Unlawful seizures from defts are bad enough, but what about when cops seize and keep cellphones, jewelry and personal property from the victims of crime? https://t.co/twyQgksoA4— Scott Greenfield (@ScottGreenfield) January 18, 2022
Eugene Volokh writes:
From Judge Stephanie Gallagher's opinion Thursday in Cottman v. Baltimore Police Dep't:
The following facts are assumed to be true for purposes of adjudicating Defendants' motions. The Amended Complaint alleges that the BPD engages in a "pattern and practice of unconstitutionally searching, seizing, retaining, and destroying the personal property of victims of violent crimes in Baltimore" in violation of the Fourth … and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution….
Plaintiff Faye Cottman alleges that a stranger shot her and her 11-year-old son at a playground near the Cherry Hill neighborhood in Baltimore on March 14, 2019. While she was in a disoriented state, Defendant Officer Destinee Macklin seized her jacket, phone, wig, and shoes without her consent. At some point thereafter, Defendant Macklin and/or other unnamed BPD officers illegally searched Ms. Cottman's phone without her consent or a warrant.
In a subsequent conversation at the hospital, Defendant Macklin told Ms. Cottman that her phone was evidence, even though Ms. Cottman told Defendant Macklin that she had no prior relationship with the shooter and had never seen the shooter before. In September, 2019, the Baltimore City Circuit Court found the shooter not criminally responsible, committed her to a psychiatric institution, and closed the case. In May, 2020, Defendant Macklin was contacted regarding Ms. Cottman's property. After initially agreeing to return it, Defendant Macklin did not respond to further attempts to contact her, and Ms. Cottman's property remains in BPD custody.
Crime Victims Allege Baltimore Police Department Unconstitutionally Seized (and Destroyed) Their Property
A federal court has allowed the case to go forward, including on a theory that the Department does this as a "pattern and practice."
By Eugene Volokh, January 18, 2022, Emphases added.
Who is Destinee Macklin? Ms. Macklin, who may be innocent, and is far from being the only Baltimore cop accused here, is now an ex-Baltimore cop at 31, with her own business, a black ex-Baltimore cop.
Former Baltimore Police detective, Destinee Macklin, started sewing after surviving a car accident. The Harford County resident made masks for people around the country. Now she is helping young people dress for success. https://t.co/pTzz9LlIyb— The Aegis (@HarfordAegis) February 8, 2021
During the Freddy Gray/Baltimore riots, extremely faux conservative Conor Friedersdorf [Email him] did a piece for the Atlantic titled The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore | Years of abuses are every bit as egregious as what the Department of Justice documented in Ferguson, Missouri, and as deserving of a national response [Atlantic, April 22, 2015].
What the Holder-Obama Justice Department documented about Ferguson was that blacks commit more crime than whites. What Friedersdorf was documenting about the Baltimore PD was that they have a lot of black police officers.
You couldn't see that in Friedersdorf's story, but if you clicked through the links, you could see that almost all the corrupt and violent cops were black and/or Hispanic. See Contrary To Conor Friedersdorf, Baltimore Doesn’t Have A Police Problem—It Has A BLACK Police Problem for the details. In Black Police Culture In Baltimore—Again, I noted a story about what the Baltimore PD’s "elite gun task force" was doing instead of arresting gang members with guns. They were doing "mob-style shakedowns"—extortion backed by their own guns and badges [Cops accused of mob-style shakedowns in stunning indictment, by Joshua Rhett Miller, NY Post, March 2, 2017].
Here are the accused cops, five out of seven of them black:
And of course, the Freddy Gray riots were started when the accidental death of Gray was blamed on the brutal racism and bias of the Baltimore PD, as demonstrated by these officers, half black and half white, all charged with Gray's death by black female prosecutor Marilyn Mosby—and all acquitted by Maryland juries:
So once again, the Baltimore PD's problem isn't that the police are aggressive, "racist," and using force on criminals—that would be a solution to Baltimore's crime problem.
The Baltimore PD's problem is that so many of its officers are black.