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Lieutenant Brian Rice may have been unfit for duty when he arrested Freddie Gray unlawfully

The Guardian, a UK newspaper, has uncovered troubling information about Lieutenant Brian Rice of the Baltimore Police Department. Rice is charged with involuntary manslaughter and second degree assault in the death of Freddie Gray. Rice was the highest ranking officer involved in the pursuit and arrest. Even though Gray had not committed a crime, he arrested him for possession of a switchblade knife, a false accusation because Gray’s knife was a legal fold-up knife that Gray was carrying in his pocket. I believe it’s fair to say that Gray would be alive today, if Rice had not subjected him to an unlawful arrest and charged him with a crime he did not commit.

The Guardian describes Rice’s alleged misconduct two weeks before his encounter with Gray.

During an erratic late-night episode in March, Brian Rice boasted he was a Baltimore police lieutenant and warned “heads will roll” if officers in a nearby city did not “go arrest” his ex-girlfriend’s husband, according to a police report obtained by the Guardian.

The incident is the latest in a series revealed by the Guardian that policing experts said raised questions over Rice’s ability to perform his duties as a supervising officer and the Baltimore department’s decision to keep him on front line patrols.

/snip/

According to a report filed on 29 March by Westminster police officer Christopher Obst, Rice arrived at the city’s police headquarters soon after 3.45am that day, demanding that police go to the home of Karyn McAleer, an ex-girlfriend and fellow Baltimore police officer with whom he has a young son, and arrest her husband, Andrew.

Rice claimed Andrew was violating a court-issued peace order to stay away from Karyn and her home. The Guardian understands that the order did not relate to any instances of violence.

Despite Obst assuring him that officers would go to the house to check on his young son’s welfare, Rice “was not satisfied”, the police report said, and instead repeatedly said Andrew McAleer must be arrested immediately.

Rice, who was placed under a temporary restraining order in 2013 after being accused in court filings of threatening to kill Andrew during a series of aggressive encounters, claimed he had spotted Andrew’s car in Karyn’s driveway after “driving by”.

Despite Obst assuring him that officers would go to the house to check on his young son’s welfare, Rice “was not satisfied”, the police report said, and instead repeatedly said Andrew McAleer must be arrested immediately.

“Heads will roll if something happens to her or the children, if you do not go arrest him,” Rice said, according to Obst. Rice added that he was a “lieutenant in the Baltimore police department” and McAleer “would be locked up instantly” if they followed his instructions, the police officer wrote.

Looks like Lieutenant Rice was unfit for duty when he unlawfully arrested Freddie Gray.

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Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.

  • Alice X

    Authority is mistaken as power, which corrupts.