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Baltimore Mayor Fears Officers May Hesitate to Use Necessary Force After Brown, Garner Cases

December 18, 2014  | 

Nationwide protests after the deaths of two unarmed black men by police in Missouri and New York might cause officers to hesitate to use deadly force for fear of becoming the "next Darren Wilson," Baltimore's mayor said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, police unions say departments across the country are battling anxiety that could compromise officers' safety. They called upon more police chiefs and elected leaders to vocally back officers, who have felt their public support erode even as they continue to do dangerous jobs protecting communities.

On Sunday, Baltimore police officer Andrew Groman was shot in the abdomen after a traffic stop in West Baltimore, where police say he pulled out his Taser when a passenger refused to get out of a car. As Groman fired the stun gun, police say, 19-year-old Donte Jones pulled out a concealed .357-caliber handgun and fired three times. Several officers surrounded the car but none returned fire, police said.

During a weekly news briefing Wednesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said intense public scrutiny and four months of protests against police brutality in Baltimore may be affecting officers' ability to act at critical moments, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Tschako @ 12/18/2014 4:23 PM

No Shlt! Be careful what you ask for Jesse and Al, you won't be able to handle it if you get it. I've never been more happy to be retired.

Sean Collins @ 12/18/2014 4:25 PM

The mayor is absolutely correct! Peace Officers have 1000nd of a second to make a decision that will affect many lives! The citizenry forget that THEY empower the police to make life or death decisions that they do not...or cannot take!

Sean Collins @ 12/18/2014 4:34 PM

I have been a use a force and firearms trainer for law enforcement since 1992 and I can attest to the fact that newer peace officers have been desensitized to the use of force including deadly physical force!

Mike @ 12/20/2014 2:42 PM

That and what looks like no department stands behind their officer when shtf.

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