Anthony Batts has worn out welcomes in both
Oakland and now Baltimore.
Report details criticisms that followed him in Oakland
OAKLAND | A scathing investigation into Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts’ handling of the protests that followed the death of Freddie Gray, an incident which captured national headlines for yet another alleged case of police brutality, has led to his dismissal, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Batts served two years as Oakland’s police chief starting in 2009 before resigning. He was hired as Baltimore police commissioner in 2012.
At the time, Batts blamed Oakland’s bureaucracy for meddling with his attempts to reform the trouble police department.
But a report issued Wednesday was highly critical of Batts’ handling of the days of protests that followed Gray’s death and strongly reinforced the image he proffered in Oakland as a brash leader of many words, but little action.
The 32-page report concluded Batts leadership divided the department rather than unite it and during the protests suggested arrests were to be approved by civilian leadership instead of the police force.
It also highlighted Batts’ known propensity for blustery rhetoric often seen during his tenure in Oakland. In the report, one officer testified that Batts’ lack of leadership amounted to leading “us officers to slaughter.”
“I can recall Commissioner Batts addressing officer at headquarters prior to going out on the street. he pretty much patted himself on the back making statements like, ‘I have been in five riots and I will assure you that this is the deal.’ With a potential riot looming, command staff was more concerned with officers not wearing black gloves and looking intimidating. With all this ‘experiece’ and beforehand knowledge at Commissioner Batts’ disposal, he still led us officer to slaughter.”