Last week on a East Baltimore street a crowd was yelling and holding cell phones while three police officers struggled to arrest an alleged drug dealer.
The incident was recorded and posted to social media. While some find the video shocking, the police department says it reflects the daily reality for its officers.
The video begins with 47-year old Curtis Myers on the ground, twisting in protest. Myers now faces charges of illegal drug possession and resisting arrest.
A second man, 29-year-old Martez Bucknercan, also be seen in the video. He faces charges of obstruction and hindering and resisting arrest.
One police officer suffered a dislocated shoulder in the incident.
According to The Baltimore Sun, “Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the local police union, said he watched the video alongside top brass at police headquarters, and believes it shows more than a few bystanders threatening the officers.”
From the Sun:
'It was outrageous. It was appalling. How can you effectively police in a city that has no respect for authority?' Ryan asked. 'They just totally disrespected the police officers. They invaded their personal space when the officers were attempting to do the job they are sworn to do.'
Some on the scene disagreed. Buckner’s father, who observed his son’s arrest and called it unjustified, said police provoked the uproar.
'The police is not lawfully doing the job the way they should,' said Clarence Buckner Sr., 61. 'They take the law into their own hands and treat people the way they want to treat them.'
This is the situation in a city suffering a record high level of violence, reporting over 200 homicides so far this year.
Ryan tells the Baltimore Sun police are becoming hesitant to do their jobs.
“They don’t want to be that officer charged for doing their job properly and going to jail,” Ryan said.
Ryan said the union and its members support reforms, but do not want to cede the city to people who “want to take over the streets and try to intimidate the police officers.”
H/T: The Baltimore Sun
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