EMMITSBURG — Baltimore’s former police commissioner says the department failed to improve public trust under his leadership and officers feeling a lack of support “took a knee” after April’s riots, letting crime spike.
Former Commissioner Anthony Batts discussed his tenure Wednesday during a panel at Mount St. Mary’s University. He says crime metrics were improving, but the department didn’t heed “warning signs” of community tensions.
Batts was fired in July as violent crime spiked after protests and riots sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered fatal injuries in police custody. Six officers were charged in Gray’s death.
Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis said Thursday that officers are working hard through a difficult summer and were disappointed by Batts’ remarks. The president of Fraternal Order of Police also disputed Batts’ statements.