On Wednesday, Baltimore’s Fraternal Order of Police released its “after action” review regarding the Baltimore uprisings in April in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. The report’s overview states that “the rioting resulted in millions of dollars in property damages and injuries to citizens,” and that reportedly more than 200 police officers from the area who responded were injured.
According to the report, viewed by the Baltimore Sun, local Baltimore officers complained that they were not properly trained for the April 27 demonstrations. Union officials also claimed that officers were ordered not to intervene.
“Officers reported that they had suffered injuries from the lack of protective riot equipment and the constraints placed on them by commanding officers,” the union’s review reads.
The review goes on to state that officers were given direct orders from newly fired Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and other command staff members “not to engage with any protesters,” and that their primary job was to “de-escalate any situation with no response, rather than to escalate with action.”
According to officers’ statements, they were ordered not to wear protective gear during the protest.
“Proper equipment is vital to the health and safety of officers at all times; however, protective gear during riots is imperative,” the review reads.
And for officers who did receive additional equipment, the Fraternal Order of Police argues in the review that they did not receive “adequate training” and that their instructions from leadership were “unclear, indecisive, and/or conflicting throughout the riots.”
On Wednesday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a statement through her office’s spokesman, Kevin Harris, expressing dissatisfaction: “It is disappointing that the FOP continues to issue baseless and false information instead of working with us to find solutions that will protect our officers.”
“Our hope was that this report would shed some additional light on how we can better prepare our officers should there be future unrest,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Shortly after the report was released, Rawlings-Blake issued a statement that Batts had been fired and that Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis would be the interim commissioner effective immediately.
Read more at the Baltimore Sun.