A Letter to our Members

June 7, 2019

To the Members of FOP #3:

Four months ago, Baltimore City was introduced to our current Police Commissioner, Michael Harrison. Upon his arrival, he made a media tour of Baltimore, proclaiming his successes in New Orleans and decreeing to all that he was here to reform the Baltimore Police Department, implement the Consent Decree, and forge a strong partnership with the community.

To this day he has said very little as to what he plans to do for you, his Officers. He has no crime plan and when he finally does announce one (after pressure) it appears that it will be some five months or more since his arrival as police commissioner or approximately 130 murders when his crime plan arrives.

As I watched the press conference that was held last night by him, I was struck by how willing the Commissioner was to condemn an on duty, uniformed Police Sergeant after watching the body worn camera video of an incident. However, about two weeks ago, this same Commissioner would not condemn those who robbed and assaulted innocent citizens at the Inner Harbor, which was also captured on video. Also, the commissioner waited about five days after the Inner Harbor fiasco to give a statement only to denounce my Tweet by calling it “highly inappropriate” and the commissioner continued, “not to mention , as far as we can tell, they were, in fact , kids, and it’s not unusual for the teenagers to congregate and act obnoxiously and do juvenile and stupid things”. Although, I’m very sure that the people stomped and beaten and robbed at the harbor do not feel that it matters whether they were “kids” or “teenagers”. I’m also certain they don’t feel as though it was just “obnoxious” and “juvenile” and “stupid things” that happened to them that weekend.

How then, can this be the same man who said that he reviewed Sgt Newberg’s BWC video and made the decision, himself, to have the Sgt criminally charged? How does the level of violence that occurred at the Harbor get a pass, in regard to the Commissioners’ comments about my tweet, while Sgt. Newberg is trashed by the Commissioner on TV and criminally charged?  Am I missing something here? I don’t think so! I believe politics are at play here and so do many people I have spoken with today in regard to this matter.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Baltimore Police Department, I have not seen the video yet and I am not commenting on facts of that case. I am just pointing out that a leader should be consistent, and a leader does not pick and choose when to make decisions based on how it will be received politically.

The Commissioner has made it clear when you are being proactive and you make a decision he does not agree with or a bad decision in the moment, or you make a mistake, you will be held to the same level as an officer that planned to do wrong. Please keep the Commissioner’s decision in mind as you go about your tour of duty, each and every day.

Mike Mancuso