The long and winding saga of Freddie Gray has mostly drawn to a close, but that doesn’t mean that the topic has dried up in Social Justice Warrior circles. At the home of all things liberal – Vox – there is a fresh round of outrage regarding the officers involved in the incident. This one sub-header seems to capture the mood perfectly:
“It’s even clearer now than after Freddie Gray’s death: The Baltimore Police Department is a disaster”
So what is it that has everyone up in arms this time? As the Baltimore Sun reports, the officers who were found to be innocent but had been suspended without pay during the trials have gotten their back pay restored to them.
Two more Baltimore police officers, cleared of charges in the death of Freddie Gray, are set to receive a combined $167,000 in back pay.
The city’s Board of Estimates on Wednesday is scheduled to authorize a payment of $96,855 to Officer Alicia White and $70,523 to Officer William Porter…
Earlier this month, the Board of Estimates, which is controlled by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, authorized a payment of $126,916 to Lt. Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in Gray’s death.
Last month, the city’s spending panel approved $87,705 in back pay for Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the driver of the van in which Gray sustained his injuries. Both Rice and Goodson were acquitted at trial by Circuit Judge Barry Williams, who found them not guilty of all charges.
Obviously the people who remain enraged over the failure to toss the cops in prison – lack of evidence not withstanding – would like to find some way to continue to punish them. The idea of the officers in question suddenly receiving six figure checks was bound to send them into a tailspin. But the reality is that this is precisely how the system is designed to work. Any time there is an officer involved shooting, standard practice is to either transfer the officer to desk duty or suspend them with pay while an investigation is conducted. If they are found to have acted appropriately, they return to their normal duties, typically getting some counseling in the wake of an obviously traumatic event as well. But if the investigation results in charges being filed, many departments will suspend the officers without pay while the process plays out.
That’s just what happened in Baltimore. But if the officers are cleared of the charges – as they were in the Freddie Gray case – they are eligible to receive the back pay they missed while defending themselves. The bottom line is that there’s absolutely nothing out of the ordinary going on here. The entire sequence of events was mishandled by both the mayor and the State’s Attorney, but in the end the system worked the way it’s supposed to. Social Justice Warriors can howl all they like, but the officers are innocent and are now being compensated for the pay they would have received if these outlandish charges hadn’t been brought in the first place.