Life in Baltimore

Baltimore is mostly a black dominated society with a population of about 620,000. It is dominated by blacks at 63% when it comes to population size against a 30% white. The DOJ (2016) report on the situation in Baltimore shows that the majority of the city residents struggle financially. A big fraction of people (24.2%) in the community live below the poverty level ascribed by the federal government while unemployment hits 7% (DOJ, 2016). It, therefore, means that the socio-economic challenges in the city are phenomenally high. A fertile ground for drug and other related crimes to flourish and numerous reasons for the police to show force, excessive force. The DOJ, (2016), was however quick to mention that the drug use levels in the city are similar to those experienced nationally. Note drug use, not trading in drugs.

The city is patrolled by about 2,600 officers who are under the command of a police commissioner who is appointed by the mayor. The city is divided into nine geographical areas (districts) that are led by a captain. The officers with the Baltimore Police Department are either deployed in the Patrol Division or the Criminal Investigations Department. The police department has surprisingly a Community Collaboration Division among other divisions which aims at enhancing and bettering police-community relations throughout the city. Its effectiveness remains questionable going by the tensions and differences in the communities. To adequately respond to the woes of the public, the department has a Civilian Review Board which is critical in settling disputes. The board can gather information on its own with no reference to other sources of information in the department.

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

The use of excessive force by our friends in uniform is not something new. It is a game that has been going on for quite some time. In communities where the majority are minorities, for instance, in Baltimore, Maryland, there is a massive community of African Americans who, due to social pressures, economic alienation and peer influence as confirmed by Floyd et al. (2010) engage in crime and drugs. Li et al. (1999) confirmed that there was a more significant problem than meets the eye when it comes to drug use. It was established that about 10% of male African-Americans adolescents have at one time or the other, engaged in drug trafficking if not use. The rates rise with age. The police have noted the trend and are often on the prowl. With a specific mind configuration that people who are likely to be in possession of drugs are black people, the police are more likely to be aggressive in black communities. As such, blacks take note, and when confronted, they remain in defiance, and thus a confrontation ensues. This often ends fatally. People get hurt or killed, there develops an atmosphere of mistrust among communities, and the police and each of the proponents (community and the police) treat each other with suspicion. The police are also not safe. They are important targets that get hit by criminals in the city. A few often end up dead or are left with severe injuries. To protect themselves, as Moskos (2008) observed, the police in Baltimore are experts in staying in the car. They are safe and comfortable there. When they leave the car, there are always consequences.

Have you watched the news recently? California police have been in the news for shooting a black minor. These kinds of attacks are a clear indication of a fully-fledged war against the blacks perpetrated by the same people who should be stopping the vice, the Police. The fact that police are highly empowered and legally protected members of the society might lure them to extend their mandate to the detriment of helpless citizens. Use of excessive force did start a long time ago. The problem has been going on for a considerable amount of time until recently that the issue got the attention of the justice department. Since those times when Indians were occupying the vast lands of California, police have been involved in sinister games. Quoting the recent history, in 1991, Los Angeles saw an escalated violence that had been triggered by a horrific manhandling of a man. The police involved were acquitted of their charges hence creating mayhem. A total of 53 people as recorded by Oliver, (2015) lost their lives in the confrontation which followed the acquittal in 1992. Do we want a repeat of the same? I guess not.

Recently, the US witnessed a horrible mass action due to the alleged murder of a black man (Freddie Gray) by a white police officer in Baltimore Maryland.  Why was this very pronounced? It had become a trend in the Baltimore neighborhood. The protests were very vocal, and the most important argument was that “black lives matter” which became a revolution in itself. It is almost standard for the police to be a little harsh to people who reside in ghettos for their alleged evil behaviors and their indulgence in drugs. These same people will intimidate and use racially offensive language prompting the police to respond with a certain degree of anger. This anger breeds force. It is clear that people of color are at a very high risk of getting caught up in circumstances where the police are using force. The consequences are often messy.

The DOJ (2016) report has some shocking revelations regarding the Baltimore neighborhood about the police use of excessive force and drugs. In the report, the BPD has been found to be exercising zero tolerance enforcement in certain neighborhoods. “City and BPD leadership responded to the City’s challenges by encouraging “zero tolerance” street enforcement that prioritized officers making large numbers of stops, searches, and arrests—and often resorting to force—with minimal training and insufficient oversight from supervisors or through other accountability structures” (DOJ, 2016). Officers don’t do it out of their own will. They are often forced to do the unconstitutional stops by their supervisors, and they do it with pinpoint accuracy and unmatched ruthlessness, all this time hiding in the guise of looking for drugs. How exactly are they ruthless? Well, hold on. The police once made a traffic stop to a black lady who apparently had a broken headlight as recorded by the DOJ (2016). The lady was forced to a strip search in the middle of a street. A strip search! The search yielded nothing like narcotics or any contraband. In another instance, the police rained down on a teenager who was walking on the sideway with his girlfriend. The teenager was forced up and against a wall and he was strip-searched, exposing his genitals to the whole street and a shocked girlfriend. Again, nothing was found. Those are just two cases; it happens more numerously than that. When it comes to pedestrian stops, the report mentioned that in a year, the department made several hundred thousand stops, all this is in a city with 620,000 people. Your guess is as good as mine, the majority of those who were stopped were blacks and guess what, only 3.7% of such pedestrian stops lead to an arrest. The DOJ (2016), the report was clear that the police in Baltimore used more force than necessary on individuals who were already restrained and two, individuals who decided to flee from officers but not suspected of serious crimes were stopped with unreasonable force. In all the mentioned spheres of unimagined atrocities, two things were found to be constant, first is being suspected of drugs and two, all the assaulted individuals were black.

In Maryland v. Pringle (2003), it was presented in court that a passenger car with three men inside was stopped for speeding. Upon searching the vehicle, the officer spotted a roll of $763, and this prompted him to further his search. He found more five glassine baggies of cocaine in the glove compartment. All the three occupants of the vehicle were arrested after denying ownership of the money and narcotics. They were driven to the police station where Pringe, one of the three, owned up to the cash and narcotics; the other two were released. In examining the circumstance of arrest, the court held that the all the three were properly arrested. In this case, there were no reports of police using excessive force, but the offenders were cooperating.

The case was different from the case law above when it came to Smith v. AITA (2016) whose jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant. It was claimed that Aita used excessive force during a traffic stop. The plaintiffs alleged that they were profiled, stopped in traffic and held at gunpoint by the said officer, Aita. The plaintiffs had charged for violation of their fourth amendment rights, use of excessive force, false arrest, violation of the Fifth Amendment rights as well as negligence and intentional emotional distress. Two deputies were shot while on duty in Harford, but despite the likelihood of the case being biased based on media coverage, the plaintiffs refused a change of date. The case was finally dismissed, and the plaintiffs said it was unfair. Reasons for arrest have not been given.

The case that punctured the Baltimore police brutality was punctured in the State v. Rice (2016). The whole world was brought to the realization that the city was on its breaking point. All the world’s eyes were on the city after the manhandling of a minor by the police to the point of causing terminal injuries. Freddie Gray died a week after his encounter with the police of Baltimore. In the case State v. Rice (2016), it was held that there was a Freddie Gray suffered an injury while in custody that led him to his death, just a week later after his brief encounter with the ruthless Baltimore Police Department officers. The officers in the case faced trial after an immunized testimony. The case ended with all the officers free from any form of federal charges. People were not amused, and the ‘black lives matter’ revolution started. In the case, the police under investigation had arrested Gray for being in illegal possession of a switchblade. Maybe, there was intent to find narcotics from Gray, but there was none, a switchblade was the scapegoat.

Moskos (2008), is a book written by a former police officer who served in the Baltimore Police Department is a classic book that has managed to capture the reality of a world that is often shrouded in mystery and distorted lenses of TV programs and film. The screens are perfect for displaying the police as heroic or rotten corrupt, but that is just the imagination of movie directors. The reality is different. Moskos (2008), has shown that policing in crime infested neighborhoods is not as easy as driving through the streets. He comes with the observation that making arrests and the quotas thus achieved are a mockery of reality. The corruption that reigns in the department is of another level. Moskos (2008), assertion that drugs should be legalized is something worth some thinking since drugs in poor neighborhoods are something that seems not to be going away anytime soon. In deed the report noted that “Many BPD discretionary enforcement actions increase distrust and significantly decrease the likelihood that individuals will cooperate with the police to solve or prevent other crimes …” DOJ (2016).

In conclusion, the city of Baltimore is of another level. The city is crime infested, and the glaring truth of the facts is that there is a bigger problem than assumed. The city records the highest numbers of homicides in the country, and they are not stopping. The numbers are rising. The police may be out of desperation, lack of options, the sheer show of force or poor training among a million other possible reasons, are acting with uncalled for innuendos and the costs are high. Better policies need to be made and enacted to tame the costs regarding emotions, jail time, and above all, life.


DOJ (2016). Investigation of the Baltimore city police department. Retrieved from

Floyd, L. J., Alexandre, P. K., Hedden, S. L., Lawson, A. L., Latimer, W. W., & Giles III, N. (2010). Adolescent drug dealing and race/ethnicity: A population-based study of the differential impact of substance use on involvement in drug trade. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse, 36(2), 87-91.

Li, X., Stanton, B., & Feigelman, S. (1999). Exposure to drug trafficking among urban, low-income African American children and adolescents. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 153(2), 161-168.

Maryland v. Pringle, 540 U.S. 366, 124 S. Ct. 795, 157 L. Ed. 2d 769 (2003).

Moskos, P. (2008). Cop in the hood: My year policing Baltimore’s eastern district. Princeton University Press.

Oliver, Pamela. Deaths in the 1992 LA Riot. 2006. Website. October 2015. <>.

Smith v. AITA, Civil Action No. ELH-14-03074 (D. Md. Apr. 29, 2016).

State v. Rice, 136 A.3d 720, 447 Md. 594 (2016).

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
Live Chat+1(978) 822-0999EmailWhatsApp

Order your essay today and save 20% with the discount code LEMONADE