During a Baltimore-based radio talk show on Thursday, a man who identified himself as a Baltimore police officer named “Jeff” called into the program and said fellow police officers were organizing to push out the city’s mayor.
“There is right now over 50 of us officers who are immediately asking for [Baltimore Mayor] Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to step down for what she did to us Monday,” the caller told WBAL radio host Derek Hunter.
The Baltimore mayor has denied giving “stand down” orders and blamed the media for misinterpreting her comments about providing “a space” for protesters to loot.
“Any other time in my career, if somebody were to throw a brick or a block at me, we would take immediate actions to pull our weapons on them. Numerous times on Monday when our officers were being injured, our commanders are telling us ‘stand down, stand down.’ You had no idea what it did to us as police officers to sit there,” said the self-described “21-year veteran” of the Baltimore police department.
“Our commissioner was so upset Monday night. You could see it in his voice as he’s giving interviews. He wanted to let us do our jobs,” insisted the WBAL caller.
“Jeff” continued to explain that the way to shut down situations from escalating is to “lock up” the first agitator the moment they start breaking the law.
He also said that many police officers were injured but there were even more unreported “officers who had cuts and bruises.”
The alleged police officer claims the movement inside the Baltimore police department against the city mayor is growing.
“Our numbers are growing of officers. We have black, white, female, Hispanic and other officers who are joining this movement now to get her out of office,” he told WBAL Radio.
While limited police resources has been listed as a factor in the police department’s hands off approach during the looting this week, the caller “Jeff” insists that they could have handled the crowd.
“The moment it started, we could have ended it. Trust you me. They would not let us. It’s on the mayor’s shoulders now for the people who were injured, the buildings that were burnt, and the officers that were hurt. The city may never recover from what she let happen,” he said.
“The mayor needs to answer for this.”
The officer told WBAL that police morale is “unbelievably low” and numerous officers have quit since Monday. He is currently talking to his wife about whether he should continue his work in the police department.