Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Baltimore Mayor Ousts Police Commissioner in Wake of Riots

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore decided on Wednesday to replace the city’s police commissioner, Anthony W. Batts. The mayor acted just hours after the police union issued a report critical of the department’s response to the riots set off by death of Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody in April.

Ms. Rawlings-Blake appointed Mr. Batts in 2012 after he had resigned as the police chief in Oakland, Calif., amid criticism of his handling of civil unrest there.

He came in for similar criticism in Baltimore after the unrest in April. The city’s police union, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, released a report Wednesday that was highly critical of the department’s handling of those disturbances, which devolved into rioting and arson.


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