Editing this week's Todcast, I discovered I was still too pissed off about the recent out of control police action in Salisbury. Salisbury Police gassed students and a Maryland State Trooper shot a man. It appears as if in Salisbury, excessive force is a policy.
Point is, even though we discussed the police shenanigans on the Todcast, I want to write about Patti Backer's art and her show for the Todcast blog. I just had to get this poison out first. In case you get bored and don't finish, the moral is, in Salisbury, while probably not any more corrupt than most, police are inept and likely to lie to hide their incompetence.
Police Ignore Their Mistakes
Not long after the turn of the century, my then-wife was managing property for an absentee landlord. It was horrible work, miserable hours and terrible people. One of the houses burned down and was unoccupied. A drug deal went down in the remains of the building. The participants were arrested and the management company (my ex) contacted. The police wanted to know if the alleged drug dealers were on the lease. They were not, a copy was provided.
A few months later, my then-wife was arrested for failure to appear in court. The Salisbury Police had listed her home address as the burned-out building and been sending the correspondence there. Because she never got the word and never showed up to testify the lease she provided was accurate, the drug dealers were set free. The prosecutor ordered her arrest and, once in possession of the facts, still attempted to gain a conviction.
I bailed her out of jail with the last $200 I had in my account. Her public defender introduced her to Kafka’s “The Trial.” The judge apologized, lightly scolded the prosecutor, returned our money and threw the case out. It is no longer even a matter of public record (or at least is not accessible in case search at the Maryland Judiciary System).
Police Free Drunken Murderer
A man shot his girlfriend and beat her dog so badly the animal had to be put down. He drove away in her Jeep, so drunk that, when he drove it into a ditch, he left it behind, along with the murder weapon. He called a cab from the scene of the accident.
The Salisbury Police tracked the cab and pulled the murderer out of it, noticed he was drunk and that he had an empty holster.
The officer asked him about the holster. The murder said he used it to hold his cell phone. Satisfied, the Salisbury Police officer sent him on his way, initiating a manhunt that would last two weeks and end in the Baltimore area.
Fear and Loathing
These are the only two stories a person needs to know about Salisbury law enforcement culture. They are tragically inept and would prefer to jail someone who is innocent than admit they were mistaken.
This week, a trooper shot a man who’d been pulled over for a broken tag light and police gassed 600 students after instigating a riot.
In the shooting incident, the man tried to escape and the trooper. Not one to let the kind of person who would wantonly drive around with his tag light out escape, the trooper reached for the keys. The driver accelerated, trying to dispatch the trooper from the car. The trooper shot him twice.
In the gassing incident, the police showed up during a post-semester party in the college section of town. Salisbury is a college town but it really hates college kids, in a vindictive way. Police spent some time filming the kids and claiming they were responding to a complaint.
In the video the police provided, when told of the complaint, the student looks up and down the street (which is exclusively college kids) and asks who would complain with genuine confusion. Police provide no real answer.
Sometime later five kids reportedly threw bottles and the mass gassing ensued. The story somehow is about the students and not the fact that Salisbury Police gas students with frightening regularity.
The police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident or has video to help them find more perpetrators. Let me tell you from experience, before you provide evidence, make sure you have plenty of bail money set aside.