In Defense of the Officers Who Arrested Freddie Gray
The Baltimore PD officers who arrested Freddie Gray are facing a combination of Assault, Reckless Endangerment, Manslaughter and Misconduct in Office charges (they were initially charged with slightly different crimes, including false imprisonment, but the charges were amended). They were on patrol in a high-crime area, Gray saw them and ran. (emphasis added-cb) The officers chased him, arrested him for possession of a switchblade knife and called for a paddy wagon to transport him.
And he explains why running from the cops is “reasonable suspicion.”
Given the current state of law in most states, immediately running from cops can provide reasonable suspicion for a stop, though not by itself alone. But that’s the strawman argument.
According to the cops, Gray didn’t just take off at a sprint when he saw uniforms. He was sitting, minding his own business when the cops “made eye contact.” Gray allegedly stared back.
Freddie Gray’s fateful encounter with Baltimore City police officers began, according to multiple police accounts, with eye contact. Gray, 25, locked eyes with at least one of the three bicycle cops patrolling Gilmor Homes, where he lived, and in what was probably less than five seconds, decisions were made. Freddie ran.
Alleged scenario: Cops stared at Gray sitting on curb. Gray stared back. The cops went after him. Only then did Gray run. Remember, this was the Baltimore PD version of events. They didn’t go for Gray based on impending or ongoing criminal activity. They didn’t go for him because he ran. They didn’t go for him because they suspected weapon possession.
By the police version, they went for him because he dared to stare at them.
If they had left that out, I would have given some credence to the “reasonable suspicion” based on running. But they admit they headed for him for staring, and that Gray only ran after a couple of heavily armed goons came at him for no lawful reason.
Considering certain cops I’ve known, I might well have run, too.