Former Baltimore cop's tweetstorm reveals examples of police misconduct and corruption

Freddie Grey BaltimoreAndrew Burton/Getty ImagesProtesters march through the streets in support of Maryland state attorney Marilyn Mosby’s announcement that charges would be filed against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Grey on May 1, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.

A former Baltimore Police Sergeant has gained widespread attention for tweeting about the “corrupt” and law-breaking practices he witnessed and participated in while serving on the force.

Michael A. Wood, Jr., a former marine, began his tweetstorm late yesterday morning, testifying to the physical abuse, racial profiling, and illegal searches that plague BPD practices.

Scrutiny of BPD practices intensified following the death of 21-year-old Freddie Grey in April as a result of injuries he sustained while in police custody.

Grey was placed, handcuffed and with his legs shackled, in the back of a police van after being arrested for allegedly possessing a switchblade knife.

Official autopsy reports released on Tuesday by Maryland’s medical examiner to the Baltimore Sun reveal that Grey died from a single “high-energy injury” to the lower left side of his head, likely when the van he was riding in stopped short and made him fall.

The six officers who arrested him were charged in May by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who said the officers were not only negligent, but also “failed to establish probable cause for an arrest” in the first place.

Giving detainees “rough rides” in the back of police vans following their arrest is a BPD practice that has been noted before: “Very fast, wide turns, braking short — they were doing everything they could to make the ride as bumpy and chaotic as possible,” Christine Abbott, a 27-year-old librarian at Johns Hopkins University who is suing Baltimore for injuries sustained during her rough ride, told the LA Times.

“I was just sliding around in there.”

Protests surrounding Grey’s death quickly descended into chaos in late April, with the situation growing so violent that the governor of Maryland declared Baltimore to be in a state of emergency and called in the National Guard.

May was Baltimore’s bloodiest month in 15 years.

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