why the people of Baltimore don't trust cops

I've previously touched on the malfeasance that runs rampant in the Baltimore City police department -- thousands of meritless arrests made each year, the lack of public trust in the force, incidents like people being arrested for asking for directions.

But if you need the most vivid possible example of why, as a general rule, no one can or should trust city cops, the off-duty Baltimore City cop who killed an unarmed man outside a Mount Vernon nightclub Saturday morning -- firing at him thirteen times -- is about as clear an illustration of what sort of scum all too often manages to get hired onto the force as could ever be provided.

Tyrone Brown was a Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq and came home safely, only to find that the city police harbored a violent lunatic, Gahiji Tshamba -- a 15 year BCPD veteran -- who would prove more of a threat than Iraqi insurgents.

Brown apparently made a pass at a woman accompanying Tshamba, and the two had words. Tshamba pulled out his city-issued sidearm and fired 13 times from close range, striking Brown with six bullets.

Now, here's the best part: Tshamba was "disciplined" by police department five years ago for shooting a man while intoxicated. That's right: a Baltimore cop shot a man while drunk and they let him keep his job. The BCPD's line was that the earlier shooting was justified because Tshamba was threatened; if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you.

Of course not all city cops are as insane as Tshamba. But too many are willing to cover up for the true scumbags, and too many are willing to engage in less serious abuses.

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