Baltimore’s City Council president accused police of “raping the city” by living outside of Baltimore during a heated Thursday meeting.
The council was discussing a property tax incentive to get more of the city’s police officers and firefighters to live in the city when Council President Jack Young made the explosive accusation, the Baltimore Sun reported. Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis has acknowledged that 80 percent of officers live outside city limits.
“We need to figure out how we can force them to live in the city,” Young said. “This is madness. They have the nerve to vote to not sign the contract? They’re raping the city.”
Young, who proposed the tax incentive for police, quickly apologized for the statement, claiming it was a “poor choice of words.” He clarified that he only intended to criticize police officers for contributing to tax pools of other jurisdictions, and he was not being critical of BPD’s policing methods.
Davis was understanding of Young’s comments, but also jumped to the defense of his officers.
“Let me say this about our city council president, there is no bigger cheerleader in the city for us getting more police officers, both on our department and getting police officers who hail from the city of Baltimore. So Jack Young’s motives are pure,” Davis said. “Police officers who do not live in Baltimore are not committing a crime. Police officers who do not live in Baltimore are not violating any type of rule or procedure, and to have those police officers compared to – and again, it’s an unfortunate use of words – the vile act committed by a rapist, is something that really offends the sensibilities of all of us.”
The BPD has been a hotbed of debate in Baltimore since the 2015 death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Scrutiny from the subsequent investigation has unearthed three instances of bodycam footage allegedly showing officers planting drugs on crime scenes.
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced in September that the city may have to throw out as many as 850 cases connected with the eight officers involved in the video.
“As prosecutors, we will remain vigilant in our pursuit of justice and we will continue to do our part to restore public trust and build confidence in the criminal justice system,” Mosby said.