Why Were Baltimore Police Ordered to Stand Down?

The Baltimore police could have done more to stop the riots and protect the city. Why weren’t they allowed to do so?

Need a reminder of why you should be careful whom you elect to lead your city? Recent events in Baltimore should make you stand up and take notice.

Consider this CBS Baltimore headline: “Sheriff: ‘I Was Sick To My Stomach’ After Being Told To Stand Down.”

Michael Lewis is the Sheriff in Wicomico County, and was also a Sergeant with the Maryland State Police. He joined Ed Norris and Steve Davis on Thursday to talk about the alleged controversial orders the police were given during the riots.

Lewis said it wasn’t his intention to come to Baltimore, a drive of about two hours, but he felt it was his duty to help.

“I hadn’t planned to go to Baltimore at all. I watched the events unfold Saturday night like we all did, and was very concerned about what I saw, and the the lack of response Saturday night,” he said. “I immediately rallied up the troops. We made sure our MRAP was prepared and ready. … We were assigned to assigned to protect Baltimore City Police headquarters, all of E. Fayette Street up to City Hall, to include City Hall. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity taking place at all. We could smell that putrid smell of burning tires and a city on fire when as we came into the city. Had lots of concerns like everyone else. We maintained our post all night long until we were relieved.”

But what shocked him the most, he said, was when city police told him not to confront and accost the rioters.

“I was sick to my stomach like everybody else. … This was urban warfare, no question about it. They were coming in absolutely beaten down. The [city officers] got out of their vehicles, thanked us profusely for being there, apologized to us for having to be there. They said we could have handled this, we were very capable of handling this, but we were told to stand down, repeatedly told to stand down,” he said. “I had never heard that order come from anyone — we went right out to our posts as soon as we got there, so I never heard the mayor say that. But repeatedly these guys, and there were many high-ranking officials from the Baltimore City Police Department … and these guys told me they were essentially neutered from the start. They were spayed from the start. They were told to stand down, you will not take any action, let them destroy property. I couldn’t believe it, I’m a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. … I had never heard anything like this before in my life and these guys obviously aren’t gonna speak out and the more I thought about this, … I had to say a few things. I apologize if I’ve upset people, but I believe in saying it like it is.”

Why did the city burn so badly? Why were so many police vehicles abandoned in harm’s way? Why did some people call 9-1-1 for help—50 times or more—and get no response?

Because the mayor and city officials apparently decided there was a higher purpose in play, other than protecting innocent citizens and their property. Could Michael Snyder be right (“12 Unanswered Questions About The Baltimore Riots That They Don’t Want Us To Ask.”) that because Baltimore’s mayor has been one of the leading officials pushing for Federal involvement in local law enforcement—and receiving massive government bribes (grants) to do so, she let things spiral as part of not “letting a good crisis go to waste”?

[Mayor Stephanie] Rawlings-Blake was one of three mayors who provided broad input into President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which advocates the federalization of police departments across the country by forcing them to adhere to stricter federal requirements when they receive funding.

“The federal government can be a strong partner in our efforts in build better relationships between the police and community,” she said in written testimony before the task force.

That would explain her inaction to stop the rioting when it began: by allowing it to spiral out of control, the mayor and her friends at the Justice Dept. could use the unrest to justify the expansion of federal power into local law enforcement, which would also allow her to receive more funding.”

Inquiring minds want to know.

Seems to me we all have some very pointed questions to ask candidates for local public office in the future. Is protecting local citizens ever subservient to other agendas? What is their view on Federalism, and the need for bottom-up power structures, rather than top-down from DC?

Baltimore’s mayor needs to be called before Congress, and grilled as to why she ordered her officers not to do their primary sworn duty. Her phone records should be pulled, to find out if she had any contact with Federal officials prior to her orders to “stand down.”

Liberty is on life-support.

PS: For those who say we don’t need firearms for self-defense, and should rely on calling 9-1-1… I rest my case. 50 calls. 50 cries for help. No answer. Sorry, I love my family more than that.