Baltimore Police Department seeks millennial and minority candidates in new marketing campaign

TheGrio has launched a special series called #BlackonBlue to examine the relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans. Our reporters and videographers will investigate police

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TheGrio has launched a special series called #BlackonBlue to examine the relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans. Our reporters and videographers will investigate police brutality and corruption while also exploring local and national efforts to improve policing in our communities. Join the conversation, or share your own story, using the hashtag #BlackonBlue.

Baltimore City officials are calling on “millennial, minority, female, and ‘ideal’ candidates” to fill 90 officer vacancies in the Baltimore Police Department, the Baltimore Sun reports, and they’re turning to a marketing firm to help with the effort. 

“The BPD has an opportunity to recruit the next generation of ideal patrol officers for 21st century policing in Baltimore, and it aims to attract diverse, local talent through a targeted digital social media marketing campaign,” the request for proposals says. The campaign aims to increase the number of “qualified and ideal applicants monthly.”

Baltimore residents maintain they have been living under the microscope of aggressive policing and officers have been under fire in recent years for a series of incidents and corruption.

Back in April the ACLU announced that they had obtained camera footage that shows residents in the Harlem Park area of West Baltimore were ID’d at will by police and had to show their identification on demand to enter or leave their homes after Det. Sean Suiter was shot and killed in November, according to the Baltimore Sun.

“What I see in the videos is the people of Harlem Park living in a police state where walking out of their house subjects them to a warrantless stop by a police officer asking them for ID,” said David Rocah, the Maryland ACLU’s senior staff attorney. “None of that, in my view, is legal. None of that, in my view, is what is supposed to happen in the United States.”

Last February, dozens of witnesses took the stand against police detectives Marcus Taylor and Daniel Hersl, both part of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force. They gave varying accounts of the duo all of which point to them using illegal measures to make traffic stops, search victims property without cause and then stealing cash and or property.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise addressed the court saying, “These men were supposed to be sentinels guarding this city from people that would break the law,” Wise told jurors. “Instead, these men became hunters.”

Also in February, a jury awarded more than $37 million in damages to the family of Korryn Gaines in a civil lawsuit, finding that Cpl. Royce Ruby had acted wrongly when he fatally shot Gaines and injured her son, Kodi.

And just last week, a video showing a Baltimore police officer brutally arresting a 13-year-old boy with a mental disability went viral.

The boy Deontay, and his 11-year-old sister were reportedly looking for a cat in a neighbor’s yard when the police were called. A neighbor reported a potential burglary.

In a video of the interaction, the officer can be seen trying to handcuff the 13-year-old. In another video, Deontay’s mother Kimberly Townes is trying to prevent the officer from taking her son, Wbaltv reports.

“He told them get on the ground. I said, ‘No, they ain’t getting on no ground,” Deontay’s mother, Townes said. “She 11 and he’s 13. They not getting on the ground. So I told them, ‘come on.’ When I said that, he grabbed my son, like close armed him, hit him down, tried to get the handcuffs on him, then he started closed fisting my son.”

Looks like the Baltimore Police Department has a lot of work to do to recruit quality candidates who really want to protect and serve the community.