The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Settlements Reveal Police Brutality

Oct 13, 2014

Police brutalizing young black men on the streets of big cities is so common it is ordinarily ignored. But in Baltimore, the lawsuits resulting from this brutality were investigated by a reporter for the Baltimore Sun papers. What has been revealed concerns some 100 cases that were settled with the victims paid thousands of dollars to keep their mouths shut.

Since 2011, the city has spent almost six million dollars, paying from a few thousand up to $500,000 per case to victims who suffered broken bones, severe beatings, organ failure and at least two deaths at the hands of Baltimore city police.

The city settled, admitting the violent behavior of its police, but it also arranged to sweep such matters under the carpet. A law had been passed to prevent those who got a settlement from talking about their cases. If they talked, they risked losing the money. But even the small amount that came out is an admission of police brutality.

And the city expects its cops will continue to brutalize and terrorize the population. How do we know? There’s money for future settlements already put into the city’s budget.

The mayor of Baltimore claims the police will be investigated. In reality, police brutality is taken care of by city payoffs when the police occasionally get caught out.

All over the country, police officers still have the right to intimidate the people they supposedly serve. One man in Baltimore pointed out, “If I fight on any other job or beat up anybody I’m terminated. You beat up a citizen for no reason and had no real probable cause, and you still have your jobs. That’s crazy. These cops still have jobs.”