June 17, 2015
Baltimore police on Tuesday said they planned to release by the end of the week records of their communications during April rioting after a black man died in police custody, in a response to accusations of stalling made by the police union.
Leaders of the Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore announced plans this month to compile an "After Action Report", intended to shed light on arson and looting after the April 27 funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Gray died of spinal injuries one week after his April 12 arrest. Six officers were indicted in his death, including one who was charged with second-degree murder.
One issue the police union wants answered is whether Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts or others in leadership roles ordered officers to "stand down", or not respond to any provocation.
"This report is intended to provide the information necessary for an appropriate response should another unfortunate incident such as this civil unrest happen again," union president Lieutenant Gene Ryan said in a statement on Tuesday.
The union is asking for written correspondence and radio transmissions between City Hall and the department during the riots, as well as details such as how many officers were placed on medical leave for riot-related injuries.
In a statement on Tuesday, the police department called the union's accusations "inaccurate, and in some cases, blatantly false and misleading."
The department's legal team hoped to be able to turn over the information to the union by week's end, it added.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake called the union allegations "without basis," adding that she never gave "stand down" orders and that an extensive review was underway.