Maryland officers staging in Baltimore ahead of verdict in Freddie Gray case, police confirm
Police officers from neighboring jurisdictions have begun staging in Baltimore in preparation for unrest that local commanders hope never materializes.
On Tuesday afternoon, Anne Arundel County Police officers were photographed staging in Druid Hill Park with an armored vehicle, helmets and shields by local photographer Devin Allen, who was made famous after one of his images from April's unrest landed on the cover of Time magazine. Allen posted his images on Twitter, where he has about 12,500 followers — including many journalists. A Baltimore Sun reporter who responded to the park also observed dozens of officers and protective gear, though the officers were no longer wearing the gear.
T.J. Smith, the Baltimore Police Department's chief spokesman, confirmed the presence of outside law enforcement personnel in the city but said the images were "not the visual that we want to portray."
"Our goal is to try to keep our assisting agencies out of sight, out of mind, away from general public view as best we can," he said. "It isn't anything where we want to raise anxieties."
Smith said there is "no reason for the equipment to be donned at this point."
Smith said he could not say how many outside agencies are in the city, or provide other "tactical" information as to their deployments, but said "these assisting agencies and that equipment is only used if absolutely necessary. It's not part of normal police response to things."Read more »