Note: Special thanks to my friend Rita Cosby for continuing to provide important material for me.
The Freddie Gray death on April 19 while in Baltimore Police Department custody set off nights of violent and devastating protests by black residents who were arguably stoked up by members of the news media and the usual agitators. While the police officers and Republican governor of Maryland were severely criticized for their handling of the civil unrest, Baltimore's Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and Deputy Police Commissioner Garnell Green, who are all African Americans were portrayed as being reasonable for their actions which included telling police officers to "stand down" and failing to call the governor to deploy the National Guard.
In addition, Rev. Al Sharpton traveled to Baltimore and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wholeheartedly welcomed him. Sharpton met with the Mayor along with his group's Baltimore chapter and local clergy at City Hall. And Al Sharpton ran the show during a press conference at the Baltimore City Hall.
On Sunday, during an exclusive interview with Emmy Award-winning newswoman Rita Cosby on New York's WABC Radio, Ed Mullins, President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, one of the nation's largest and most influential police unions urged both the mayor and police chief in Baltimore to resign.
"There [were] some very strong quotes... and he's the first to call for [Baltimore's police] chief to also resign! He also compared NYC and Baltimore and said why NYC was able to control things and Baltimore didn't. He said because in NYC police stood up to the mayor," Ms. Cosby told the Law Enforcement Examiner.
One of the first questions posed by host Rita Cosby to Sgt. Mullins -- who's served as the SBA president since 2002 -- was if her guest saw any differences between how the Baltimore police responded to rioting and looting, and how the New York City Police Department handles such civil unrest.
"[T]here's a phenomenal difference. [W]hen we had the protest we have thousands and thousands of police officers and if you think of what took place during 9/11 [terrorist attack on the World Trade Center], we were still able to protect the city and respond to the disaster of 9/11. The Baltimore Police Department has about 3000 police officers, and [Baltimore's mayor] had a Standby Policy that was in place to prevent Baltimore from engaging in any of the violence. In New York we did see violence. We saw police officers being assaulted. We saw different things, of some bottle throwing and people disrupting traffic things along those lines," Mullins told Cosby.
"But to see buildings being burned down, and stores being looted, and hard-working people being put out of business because this was an opportunity for, you know, a group of people to steal and benefit, and if you look at what they were stealing, they were stealing bags of chips, whiskey, and silly, silly items. It wasn't like they were robbing banks. They were stealing food. They were stealing nonsense items, and breaking people's windows, and putting them out of business," said Sgt. Mullins.
"My heart goes out the Baltimore Police officers because they were forced to be in a situation, which they had no control of and the mayor herself should step down," Mullins noted.
"There's a huge difference between what we're capable of doing here in New York, and the resources we have, as compared to the resources of what was [available] in Baltimore. I don't blame the police officers by any means, but I certainly blame the Police Chief and the Mayor. The people who live there should hold them all accountable," Mullins said to Cosby and her listeners.
Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a contributor to KGAB radio news, a Fox News affiliate.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.
In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com) and editor of Conservative Base Magazine (www.conservativebase.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He holds a bachelor of science in Criminal Justice from Southwest University and SCI Technical School in New York City and completed training at the NYC Police Academy, FBI Continuing Education Program, and the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) of the American Society for Industrial Security.
Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.
To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.