Former Baltimore Police Officer Alleges Department Corruption

Michael Woods takes to social media alleging BPD corruption.

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The city of Baltimore has been in the news quite a bit the last few months. The media flocked to the city following the death of Freddie Gray Jr., who was killed in the custody of police officers that arrested him illegally. The resulting protests received international coverage and Baltimore was depicted as spiraling out of control. The national guard was called in and a curfew was placed on city residents in an attempt to regain control.

Following the results of Gray’s autopsy, which stated that his death was a homicide, charges were levied against the six officers involved. The case of Gray’s death, as well as the magnifying lens placed over the city during the investigation, seemed to expose many other truths – among them, the fact that socioeconomic conditions in the city were far less than ideal and, ultimately, the city had become a petri dish for the kind of unrest that the world was witnessing. Beyond the call for reform in the city’s infrastructure and neighborhoods was the loud call for immediate reform in the city’s policing. The Department of Justice would ultimately launch an ongoing investigation into the city’s police department.

Sergeant Michael A. Woods Jr. was a member of the Baltimore Police Department from 2003 through 2014. He retired from the force after sustaining an injury and is currently earning his Ph.D. in criminal justice. As Baltimore dominated headlines, he was occasionally called on for perspective. Recently, however, Woods has emerged via social media as a voice willing to offer first-hand experiences in the types of immoral and, in many cases, illegal acts allegedly perpetrated by the Baltimore Police Department. Earlier this week, Woods took to his Twitter account and began divulging information, beginning with a tweet that read ominously, “So here we go. I’m going to start Tweeting the things I’ve seen & participated in, in policing that is corrupt, intentional or not.”

Some of the more disturbing tweets are below:

A detective slapping a completely innocent female in the face for bumping into him, coming out of a corner chicken store.

— Michael A. Wood Jr. (@MichaelAWoodJr) June 24, 2015

Punting a handcuffed, face down, suspect in the face, after a foot chase. My handcuffs, not my boot or suspect

— Michael A. Wood Jr. (@MichaelAWoodJr) June 24, 2015

Pissing and shitting inside suspects homes during raids, on their beds and clothes.

— Michael A. Wood Jr. (@MichaelAWoodJr) June 24, 2015

Swearing in court and PC docs that suspect dropped CDS during unbroken visual pursuit when neither was true.

— Michael A. Wood Jr. (@MichaelAWoodJr) June 24, 2015

Jacking up and illegally searching thousands of people with no legal justification

— Michael A. Wood Jr. (@MichaelAWoodJr) June 24, 2015

Having other people write PC statements, who were never there because they could twist it into legality.

— Michael A. Wood Jr. (@MichaelAWoodJr) June 24, 2015

Targeting 16-24 year old black males essentially because we arrest them more, perpetrating the circle of arresting them more.

— Michael A. Wood Jr. (@MichaelAWoodJr) June 24, 2015

Woods has continued tweeting incidents intermittently and spoke with NY Daily News on Wednesday defending his claims. “It wasn’t until I got out of the police department and saw things from a different perspective and got educated that I realized the things that happened were so wrong,” he said.

Regarding the validity of the allegations, Detective Shawn Strong responded, “We’ll look into this and his background. This is news I’m getting right now.”