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Police in Baltimore, NYC making fewer arrests due to reforms following high-profile deaths


'Afraid to arrest anyone'

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Police in Baltimore and New York City are making fewer arrests, and officers are complaining that it's because overbearing reforms make it too risky to engage with suspects, according to Hot Air.

The high-profile deaths of black suspects in police custody in Baltimore (2015) and New York City (2014) have resulted in more oversight and accountability for officers when they use force to apprehend a suspect. For some officers, the scrutiny causes them to think twice before getting involved.

"I don't feel pride for having 20 uses of force," one Baltimore officer told The Washington Post. "Now I am afraid to arrest anyone because I don't want to have so many uses of force [documented] against me."

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told the Post that some officers are "reluctant for fear of getting hurt or getting in trouble for making mistakes."

Baltimore has implemented a consent decree that seeks to have the department operate with more transparency through internal reporting and more public interaction. Violent crime has been on the rise in Baltimore in recent years, with some critics attributing it to reforms causing police to be less aggressive against crime.

"We don't get out of our patrol cars like we used to, because we are afraid that if we do, then we might have to level up," one officer said.

In New York City, officers have similar complaints after former Officer Daniel Pantaleo was fired for allegedly killing a man with a prohibited chokehold during an arrest in 2014.

Some in the New York City law enforcement community are referring to the "Pantaleo Effect," according to the New York Post, after the number of arrests dropped significantly after Pantaleo's firing, according to the New York Post.

Accountability became a priority in these departments due to the unnecessary and possibly malicious intent that led to the 2014 death of Eric Garner in New York, and the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

Garner was allegedly choked out by Pantaleo while being restrained by multiple officers during an arrest for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally. Pantaleo avoided federal charges in Garner's death, despite the New York City medical examiner determining that it was a homicide.

Freddie Gray was killed after being transported unsecured in a police van, against protocol, having suffered head and injuries consistent with a car crash and severe spinal injuries that are thought to have come from a rough arrest. The involved officers also avoided charges.

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