On The Watch

Freddie Gray's death from injuries obtained while in police custody in April fanned the smoldering anger and frustration with police practices in Baltimore into a conflagration of protesting, rioting, and looting.

For the next twelve months, WYPR's Mary Rose Madden will explore those practices and the culture of policing in Baltimore.  She'll look at how the relationship between officers and citizens reached that tipping point and report on racial and class tensions, the documented instances of excessive use of force and probe how complaints against officers are handled.

She'll look at past attempts at police reform in the city, how they compare with other cities with the same problems and how police officers are responding to calls for community-oriented policing.

It will all be in On the Watch: Fixing the Fractured Relationship Between Baltimore's Police and Its Communities .

On the Watch will air during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

This special series is supported by grants from the Bendit Family Foundation, Sig and Barbara Shapiro, The Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund, and Open Society Institute-Baltimore.

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

Three weeks before he was fired, Former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts held a meeting in a basketball court adjacent to a playground in West Baltimore. The community was invited to observe the meeting police were calling “community comstat”.

Mary Rose Madden for wypr

Programming Note: Today, we start a police reform series called, "On The Watch: Fixing The Fractured Relationship Between Baltimore's Police And Its Communities".  The series will run for the next twelve months.  Please email the reporter at mmadden@wypr.org with any comments or suggestions.

Crime in Baltimore is up, but police presence is down, residents say.  Arrests have plummeted, open air drug markets operate freely and since May 1, six homicide victims were under 18.

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