This week, a couple stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.
Baltimore City Officer Indicted in Training Shooting
A Baltimore City police officer has been indicted in Baltimore County on misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.
Officer William S. Kern shot a University of Maryland Baltimore police trainee in the head during a training exercise at the Rosewood Center in Owings Mills on Tuesday February 12th. The grand jury indictment identifies the trainee as Raymond Northern Gray.
Gray was critically injured.
If Kern is convicted, the assault charge could carry up to 10 years in prison; the maximum sentence for reckless endangerment is five years, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
In a statement, the office said an arrest warrant has been issued for Kern, who has been with the Baltimore Police Department since Nov. 7, 1994. The state’s attorney’s office has asked Baltimore City police to “suspend any Internal Affairs’ investigation until the completion of the criminal case,” the statement reads.
The Baltimore Sun reported that top Baltimore police commanders, including the director of the training academy, did not know training exercises were happening in Owings Mills the day Gray was shot.
During a news conference on the night of Febuary 12, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said the incident was unacceptable and announced that all police academy operations and training exercises were suspended until a safety evaluation was completed. Batts did not answer a question about why live ammunition was used during the exercise.
Do these seem like the best people to rely on for your safety?
Dekalb Officer Charged with Felony Child Cruelty
A DeKalb County Police Officer is free on bond after he was indicted by a grand jury for beating a child in Walton County.
DeKalb Police Officer Matt Davy is charged with felony child cruelty and aggravated assault in the October 8th beating of his girlfriend’s 13-year old son. Walton County authorities said it all stemmed from an argument between the boy and some other kids, ending at the home of a neighborhood girl and her mother. The girl’s mom called Davy, who arrived a short time later to hear the girl’s side of the story.
“The daughter tells him, ‘he cussed me out and he pulled this knife out,’” said Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. “The guy says, ‘Oh, is that right?’”
Witnesses said Davy turned on the boy, beating him and choking him until the 13-year old passed out. Davy then left the child in the neighbor’s yard to find his own way home.
Bob Hastings saw the beating and saw the boy get up after Davy drove off. Slowly, holding his stomach in obvious pain, the sobbing boy walked his bicycle home. Hastings said he was shocked.
“It went from a heated exchange or conversation with the neighbors to rage,” Hastings recalled. “(It seemed) extreme to me from a disciplinary standpoint. It was not normal behavior in public.”
Davy was released from the Walton County Jail Monday on a $15,000 bond. There is no word yet on when the case might go to trial.
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.