Sunday, February 28, 2016

Full Audio: Jimmy Mathis Town Hall With Some Of Baltimore's Mayoral Candidates


WBAL NewsRadio 1090's Jimmy Mathis hosted a town hall with Baltimore Mayoral Candidates: Former Mayor Shelia Dixon, Councilman Nick Mosby, State Senator Catherine Pugh and Councilman Carl Stokes.

LISTEN HERE

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Police Officer Injured In Northwest Baltimore Crash



Police are investigating a crash in northwest Baltimore involving a police officer. 

It happened late last night in the 5400 block of Reisterstown Road near West Rogers Avenue. 

WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter Barry Simms said one car crashed into a pole and a police cruiser was lodged into the back of another car that ran up against the door of Peppers Discount Liquors. 

Investigators said the officer was responding to a call to back up another police officer. 

The officer was taken to a hospital for a knee injury. 

No word on the cause of the crash.

Friday, February 26, 2016

After Chris Christie's Trump Endorsement, Hogan Declines To Support Anyone In GOP Primary


Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan won't be following suit after his friend and fellow Republican, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, endorsed Donald Trump's presidential bid.
“Governor Hogan has not endorsed anyone else in the Republican primary and is currently focused on Maryland, the legislative session, and changing our state for the better," a spokeswoman said in an email.
Hogan earlier endorsed Christie's presidential bid, and hosted a fundraiser. Christie campaigned with Hogan during the latter's 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Davis Says Investigation Underway After Man Suffers Broken Arm In Arrest


RadioOnFire.com - Baltimore police Commissioner Kevin Davis is asking for help from anybody with smartphone video to get to the bottom of a police altercation that resulted in a man suffering a broken arm.
Aaron Winston allegedly provoked and interfered with three officers escorting a friend of his early Sunday outside the Mosaic Nightclub in the unit block of Market Place, at Power Plant Live. Officers used physical force to subdue him, and he was arrested and taken on foot to the central district across the street, Davis said, correcting rumors he was taken to Central Booking.
"It became evident that he had an injury that was sustained during the take-down, during the arrest, that required medical attention," Davis said.
In accordance with his department's policy, Davis said Thursday an investigation has been launched into what happened at the nightclub. Police were called there by the club's private security.


"It's clear to all of us that we need to find out what happened," Davis said. "We can all kind of picture in our mind's eye, generally what happened, but we need to know specifically what happened."
Separately, officers will face discipline for not maintaining constant presence during Winston's hospital stay. None have been placed on administrative leave
Winston has since been officially charged with two counts of second-degree assault, resisting arrest and other offenses. Davis said he's spoken to Winston's mother.
Davis said he believes it highly likely someone has video of the altercation. He said police are working with nightclub management to obtain any surveillance video that might help.
"I find it hard to believe of the 2, 300 people in the Mosaic Nightclub, during this interaction, nobody took out one of these," he said, displaying a phone. "I'll be the first to admit I wish all three of those officers had their body cameras on."
City officials are currently hashing out a $10 million deal with Taser International for those body cameras.

Suspect Named In Shooting Of Two Elderly Victims, Police Declare Him Public Enemy No. 1


RadioOnFire.com - Baltimore police have named the man wanted in the Monday shooting of two elderly victims and designated him public enemy No. 1.
Carl Anthony Cooper allegedly fired the shots that struck Hogan McGill, 82, and Martha Gilliard, 90, in the leg. Police say Cooper, 36, had a background of drug offenses.
"Right now, it appears that the motive behind the shooting has a drug nexus to it and the two individuals were caught in the crossfire," criminal investigations chief Col. Stanley Brandford said.
Earlier this week, police released video of the shooter.
"We take no delight in announcing Public Enemy No. 1," Commissioner Kevin Davis said, though he noted that recent such declarations have been followed with tips and swift arrests.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction on top of a $2,000 reward from Metro Crime Stoppers.
Anyone with information is asked to call 410-396-2221 or Metro Crime Stoppers.
"Today's announcement by the Baltimore City Police Department is welcomed news," the victims' families said in a statement released by police. "We are elated by this information, but understand this is one of the first steps in the justice process. We await more news from the Police Department on an arrest."

Source WBAL

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

After Controversy, Towson High Student Will Be Able To Recite Poem That References Black Lives Matter


 RadioOnFire.com - Towson High School senior will be able to recite a poem called "Believe Me" before his classmates tonight during a senior talent show. The poem refers to the Black Lives Matter movement. 
The principal of the school told the Baltimore Sun that she never banned Senior Class President Marcus Shaw from reciting the poem. He claims that after a meeting with the principal he was not going to be able to perform it because he refers to police officers who start riots instead of keeping the peace.
The senior also talks about the death of Eric Garner--the black man who was seen in video in New York as police put in him in a chokehold while he screamed he couldn't breathe.
There was also an online petition signed by more than 2,500 in support of Shaw and his poem.

Source WBAL

Baltimore Co. Police Identify Man In Police-Involved Shooting


RadioOnFire.com - Baltimore County police have identified the Middle River man shot by an officer last week.
George Greenwood Willinger III of the unit block of Volz Avenue has been charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, a handgun violation and other charges. He will be held without bail upon his release from hospitalization.
Police say they recovered white baggies from Willinger's person that contained a white rock substance, yellow and orange pills and an "owe sheet."
Police said after the incident that a passenger (since identified as Willinger) in a vehicle near Old Eastern and Harrison avenues got out of the car, placed his hand in his waistband area and made a sudden turn toward the officer, which led to the shooting. The driver, Timothy Dudek, was arrested on drug and firearms charges.

Source WBAL
Credit: Baltimore County Police Department
George Greenwood Willinger III

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Poll: Hogan Approval Rating At 63%; Democratic Party Still Viewed Favorably


RadioOnFire.com - A new poll finds Gov. Larry Hogan's approval rating remains high. 

The Goucher Poll of 545 Marylanders finds 63 percent approve of the job Hogan is doing. Seventeen percent disapprove of the job Hogan is doing.

He has an 86 percent approval rating among Republicans and a 50 percent approval rating among Democrats, in spite of some highly publicized battles with Democratic leaders in the legislature.
That approval rating compares to a 58 percent approval rating Hogan received in a Goucher Poll in October, and to a 67-percent approval rating Hogan received in a Gonzales Poll last month.  

"Really Hogan has been able to sustain any criticism, so while at the elite level the Democrats are frustrated with him, this really hasn't resonated that much in the electorate as of yet," Goucher Poll Director Mileah Kromer told WBAL NewsRadio 1090.
The telephone poll was conducted over a five-day period ending on Wednesday of last week. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percent.
The approval rating for the Maryland General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats is at 44 percent, down from the 45 percent mark on last year's poll
However, the poll does have some good news for Democrats. The poll asked residents which party was more responsive to their needs. On that question, the Democratic party out-polled Republicans 54 to 31 percent.
When asked which party better managed state government, 44 percent said Democrats, 37 percent said Republicans. When asked which party is more extreme in its positions, 57 percent said the Republican Party, while 26 percent said the Democratic Party. When asked which party is more likely to work with the opposing party, 52 percent said Democratic, and 26 percent said Republicans.
"When you look at people's opinions toward political parties, Democrats are still more favorable in the state.  We still have that 2-to-1 Democratic to Republican ratio and it really shows here when you ask questions about the party, rather than the governor," Kromer added. "People really like divided government in a lot of different ways, and they like to see a governor who is decisive, and I think Larry Hogan is giving people just that."
The poll also asked opinions on a variety of other issues.  
Poll Analysis from Goucher College
Views on the State of Maryland
Overall, 65 percent of residents view Maryland as a “good” or “excellent” place to live; 35 percent rate it as only “fair” or “poor.”
Residents were asked to rate Maryland on a variety of different items:
  • 73 percent rate Maryland as a “good” or “excellent” place to get a quality college education.
  • 67 percent rate Maryland as a “good” or “excellent” place to raise a family.
  • 59 percent rate Maryland as a “good” or “excellent” place to get a quality K-12 education.
  • 50 percent rate Maryland as a “good” or “excellent” place to find a job.
  • 44 percent rate Maryland as a “good” or “excellent” place to run a business.
  • 31 percent rate Maryland as a “good” or “excellent” place to retire.
Two years ago, a Gallup Poll found that 47 percent of Marylanders would leave the state if they could.[1]  This statistic was often cited during the 2014 gubernatorial race between then-candidates Larry Hogan and Anthony Brown.  The desire to move has changed slightly, but not substantially. According to the Goucher Poll 42 percent of Marylanders would leave the state if they had the opportunity and 56 percent would rather stay.
Statewide Policy Issues— Legalization of Marijuana, Redistricting, Education Funding, and Transportation Focus
When asked about the most important issue facing the state, residents chose education (17 percent), jobs and unemployment (13 percent), economic growth and development (13 percent), and taxes (9 percent).
Opinions toward the legalization of marijuana in Maryland remain consistent. Fifty-four percent of Maryland residents support the legalization of marijuana, while 39 percent oppose it—nearly identical to the Goucher Poll findings in February 2015. 
With regard to how Maryland should determine voting district lines, 20 percent prefer a system where districts are determined by the state’s elected officials and 75 percent prefer a system where districts are determined by an independent commission. Currently, district lines in Maryland are determined by the state’s elected officials and are readjusted after each US Census.
Marylanders were asked to give their preference on where the government should focus its spending in regard to transportation. Residents were divided on the issue, with 56 percent of residents indicating the state government should focus more on improving roads and highways and 39 percent saying the focus should be on improving public transportation.
Two-thirds of Marylanders think the state government spends “too little” to fund public education in the state and 24 percent think the state spends “about the right amount.” Only 8 percent think the state spends “too much.”
More than three-quarters of Marylanders support the proposal to help economic development in Baltimore City by funding the removal of vacant buildings and replacing them with green space or space for new development. 
Views on Women in Public Office
Maryland is home to the longest-serving female US Senator, retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski. The state also has a long history of women serving in its congressional delegation. The current congressional primaries and forthcoming general election races could result in Maryland having a record number of women in its congressional delegation or none.  
Marylanders were asked whether they agree or disagree with a series of statements concerning stereotypes and opinions sometimes associated with women in public office.
20 percent agree that female politicians often let their emotions influence their political decisions.
  • 14 percent agree that male politicians are typically better at handling most political issues.
  • 14 percent agree they have reservations about electing a female to the presidency.
  • 12 percent agree that male politicians are generally better communicators through speeches and media.
  • 8 percent agree that female politicians don't have the expertise to deal with foreign policy issues, like wars.
Although Maryland is consistently ranked as having one of the most diverse state legislatures in terms of gender, 61 percent of residents underestimate the percentage of seats held by women in the Maryland General Assembly; 21 percent gave a correct response (between 25 and 35) and 11 percent overestimate.  Women currently hold 31 percent of the seats in the Maryland General Assembly.
Views toward Police in Communities
Conversations concerning policing continue to dominate national, state, and local dialogues.
Residents were asked about several aspects of policing in their communities. While African-American and white Marylanders express different views on some of the issues, support for requiring police officers to wear body cameras and the view that police are respected in communities is similar across racial lines.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Police: 2 Seniors Shot, Injured In West Baltimore Shooting


RadioOnFire.com - Baltimore police are investigating after an elderly brother and sister were shot in the 3400 block of Clifton Avenue in Walbrook Junction.
Police say the shooting happened around 1 p.m. outside a sub shop while the man, 82, and woman, 90, were waiting for a bus. Spokesman TJ Smith said they did not appear to be the targets of the shooter who fired from the shopping center across the street. Both were shot in the leg, and the woman suffered a graze wound to the head.
"There's not any words to describe how ridiculous it is," Smith said. "Those of us who know the city, bad guys do bad things and guys who get involved in the game know the risks that come with that. But at the same time there are rules of engagement and elderly folks are off-limits."
It's believed the shooter ran from the scene. Officers were just a block away. Anyone with tips on the shooter's whereabouts is asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.
"You know that this person shot somebody that could be your grandmother, your grandfather, your great-grandmother, your great-grandfather," Smith said. "This is unheard of."
CORRECTION: This story was edited to show a correction. We first reported that the two victims in this incident were walking toward the bus stop. They actually drove to the shopping center and were walking across the street in the direction of the bus stop and heading to a corner carry out store when this incident occurred. They were not catching the bus.
Source WBAL

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dreamchasers' Chino Delivers Health Update After Being Shot in the Head



VLadTV is reporting that just a few days after being injured in a drive-by shooting, rapper Chino has emerged to let fans know he's "recovering & doing well." The artist currently on Meek Mill's Dreamchasers imprint was shot in the head late Friday morning in Northwest Baltimore. "God is great never underestimate his power. #DaChasers," he tweeted out hours ago. No other details have been shared regarding the shooting as of Sunday afternoon.
We wish him a speedy recovery.
Source: Twitter





Saturday, February 20, 2016

Two Dead In West Baltimore Shooting



Baltimore City Police are looking for witnesses and suspects in the shooting deaths of two men in West Baltimore Today.
The shooting was reported at around 1:40 in the 2300-block of West Lafayette Avenue.
Officers arriving at the scene found two men who had been shot.
Both were taken to a nearby hospital where they later died.
Police are asking anyone with information on the shootings  to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup. 

Car Crashes Outside Of Baltimore Police Headquarters


RadioOnFire.com - A vehicle possibly involved in a shooting crashed Friday evening in front of Baltimore police headquarters.
Police were called to reports of gunshots fired in the 3900 block of West Coldspring Lane, but they did not find a victim.
During a canvass of the area, officers noticed a black Acura driving erratically and saw it hit another car, Detective Jeremy Silbert said.
Police said the officers followed the car onto the Jones Falls Expressway and saw it hit another car before it crashed into barriers in front of police headquarters on Fayette Street.
The driver made a right turn onto Fayette Street and tried to make a U-turn when she lost control and crashed into the barriers, SkyTeam 11 Capt. Roy Taylor reported.
The woman driving the car suffered minor injuries in the crash and was taken to a hospital, Taylor reported. Silbert called the woman a person of interest.
A 33-year-old man suffering a gunshot wound to his leg walked into Sinai Hospital. His condition is not yet known.
Silbert said police are investigating whether the vehicle was involved with the initial report of shots fired.
Detectives are asking witnesses to the shooting to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7LOCKUP.

19 Hurt in Dundalk Bus Crash


Several people were injured after an MTA bus crashed in Dundalk Friday afternoon, officials said.
Baltimore County fire officials said the crash was reported at 3:34 p.m. Friday along the 2900 block of Sollers Point Road.
An MTA bus crashed into a light pole on the parking lot of American Kenpo Karate, officials said.
Officials said 19 people were injured; two people suffered serious injuries. None of the injuries were life-threatening, officials said.
There is no word on what caused the crash.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sheriff Awards Slain Deputies With Medals Of Honor


The Harford County sheriff's deputies killed in the line of duty earlier this month have been honored with Medals of Honor.
A viewing for Mark Logsdon, a 16-year veteran of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, started at 2 p.m. Thursday and will go until 9 p.m. at Mountain Christian Church. A viewing will also be held Friday from 2-9 p.m.
Logsdon was fatally shot by 68-year-old Brian Evans, who first opened fire on another deputy, Patrick Dailey, a 30-year Sheriff's Office veteran, inside a Panera Bread restaurant in Abingdon on Feb. 10. Logsdon came into contact with Evans minutes later in a parking lot nearby and was fatally shot. Responding deputies killed the gunman.
Logsdon, 43, was assigned to the Community Services Division. He is survived by his wife, three children and his parents. And he has left behind a grieving community, including the pastor of Mountain Christian Church, who was the Logsdon's neighbor in Fallston.
"Everybody who talks about Mark says he didn't let the little things bring him down. He kept things in perspective. He was a happy-go-lucky, seat-of-your-pants kind of guy. He embraced life. He loved a laugh. So he would say, 'Keep it light, folks. Life's too short.'" said Ben Cachiaras, senior pastor at Mountain Christian Church.
Sheriff Jeff Gahler told 11 News Thursday that while Logsdon appreciated the promotion to senior deputy, he was most proud to be called deputy first class.
Before the viewing began, there was a private, poignant moment inside the church. Dailey's family was there in support, and Logsdon's family was presented with a posthumous Medal of Honor.
"Both of our deputies gave their life in the line of duty, and for that, we have awarded two Medals of Honor, one for Senior Deputy Pat (Dailey), and one for Mark (Logsdon), and I pray I never award another one," Gahler said.
People in the community who knew Logsdon said he was deeply connected to the community. And so, in the middle of her grief, his wife, Jennifer, sent a message to the community:
"Dear Family, Friends, and Community,
"Words cannot express our gratitude for the overwhelming support since the death of my hero, DFC Mark Logsdon of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. My family and I are heartbroken by Mark’s death but are finding peace and comfort in the kindness of strangers, the love of our community, the support of allied law enforcement agencies, and the prayers of many.
"Mark proudly wore the uniform of a Harford County Deputy Sheriff and worked every day to protect his community, but beneath the uniform he was just Mark ... a great guy, a great friend, and a great deputy. To the Sheriff’s Office, thank you for being Mark’s friend. He loved each of you and was so proud to be a member of the law enforcement community.
"Mark was not only my husband, he was my best friend. We dreamed of the days of retirement, warm weather, and endless golf courses. Now, I would give everything away and live in a cardboard box, if I could just be with Mark again. He was -- he is -- my world and I don’t know how I will move forward without him by my side. He was truly special. He was a hero every day, not just to me, but to his parents, his sister, and three beautiful children.
"This week has devastated my life and reminded me that life is precious and can change in the blink of an eye. Mark would want me to tell all of you to live life as he did -- to the fullest. Love each other, laugh with each other, and always remember to cherish every moment, as if it could be your last.
"And while I know that you all share in my grief, I ask for privacy. As I try to simply survive the next few days, my family and I ask for your understanding and patience. Please give me the opportunity to find solace in my memories and privately grieve the loss of my Mark.
"With love and respect,
Jennifer Logsdon"
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758515, Topeka, KS 66675 or to the Mark Logsdon Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1176, Aberdeen, MD 21001.
The fatal shootings were the first such killings of law enforcement officers in Harford County since 1899.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Baltimore County Police Investigating Officer Involved Shooting


Baltimore County Police detectives are investigating an officer involved shooting that happened early Thursday morning along Old Eastern Avenue and Harrison Avenue in Middle River. 
An officer shot a suspect who was taken to the hospital. There is no word on the suspect's condition.
Baltimore County Police Corporal John Wachter says at around 2:00am an officer pulled over a vehicle that he suspected was involved in narcotics activity. 
"The passenger exited the vehicle and started to walk towards Eastern Avenue and then stopped," said Wachter live on WBAL NewsRadio 1090. "The vehicle itself pulled around onto Harrison and put itself in a position roughly parallel with the officer;'s car. During an interaction between the officer and the passenger who exited the vehicle that passenger made a sudden movement towards his waistband that placed the officer in fear for his life." 

The tweets go on to say that an officer stopped vehicle for suspected narcotics activity. Then, a passenger exited vehicle. 
During interaction with officer, suspect made sudden movement to waistband area.
That suspect's sudden movement put officer in fear for his life with the officer claiming that he thought the suspect had a weapon. The officer shot the suspect at least one time.

The driver of the vehicle was arrested. 
Wachter says the officer will be on routine administrative status while the incident is reviewed. 
He says there was no weapon found, but he says police did recover narcotics from the scene.

Source WBAL

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Judge Schedules Motions Hearing In Nero Trial


RadioOnFire.com - Although prosecutors are seeking a delay from the state's highest court, Baltimore City Circuit CourtJudge Barry Williams is moving ahead with the trial of one of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
Jury selection for Officer Edward Nero is scheduled to begin Monday. Williams has scheduled a hearing for Friday morning to address a number of pre-trial motions.

CLICK HERE to read the motions filed in Officer Edward Nero's trial.
Many of the motions are similar to those that were heard before the trial of Officer William Porter which ended with a hung jury in December.
The state attorney general's office, which is representing the state in various appeals in these cases, has asked the Maryland Court of Appeals to delay Nero's trial, and the trials of four other accused officers to determine if Porter can be forced to testify.
Prosecutors have argued that "it is in the public interest" for Porter to testify at the trials of Nero, Officer Garrett Miller and Lt. Brian Rice, the three officers who arrested Gray in April. Williams denied the prosecution's request last month. The Court of Appeals has yet to rule on this issue.
This issue has already delayed the trials of two other officers, Officer Caesar Goodson and Sgt. Alicia White, where Porter is considered a material witness.
The Court of Special Appeals is scheduled to hold a hearing next month, as Porter's attorneys seek to prevent him from being forced to testify.
Nero is charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office.

Source WBAL

Monday, February 15, 2016

Visitation Begins For Murdered Deputies


RadioOnFire.com - Snow and freezing rain did not deter hundreds of people from coming to the Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, for the first day of visitation for Harford County Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey.
He was one of two deputies shot and killed in the line of duty in Abingdon last week.
Law enforcement officers from around the state were among those who came to pay their respects. By evening, there were people standing in the lobby of the church's worship center, where the visitation was taking place.  
A large American flag stretched across two ladder trucks at the entrance to the church complex. The tucks were from the Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, where Dailey was a volunteer firefighter for 37 years.
Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler told reporters the outpouring of support has meant a lot.
The visitation will continue on Tuesday at the church from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. The visitation will include a firefighters memorial at 7 p.m.
Dailey's funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday.  Gahler says police officers from as far away as Colorado are expected to attend the funeral.
The visitation for the second deputy killed last week, Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon, will take place Thursday and Friday at the church.
His funeral will be Saturday at Harford Community College.

Source WBAL

Deadly Shooting In Northeast Baltimore


RadioOnFire.com - Baltimore Police are investigating a deadly shooting that occurred early Monday morning.
According to Baltimore Police, at approximately 3:30 a.m., Northeast District patrol officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of E. 31st Street for a report of a shooting.
Police discovered an 18-year-old-male who was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound the head. Medics transported the victim to Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Homicide detectives are interviewing several witnesses, as this investigation is open and ongoing.
Anyone with information is ask to contact detectives at (410) 396-2100 or call Metro Crime 

Source WBAL
Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

Winter Weather Advisory For Parts Of Maryland Through Tuesday Morning


RadioOnFire.com - The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory that remains in effect to 10 am Tuesday.
From the National Weather Service:
...Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 10 am EST Tuesday...
* precipitation type...snow...sleet and freezing rain.
* Accumulation...2 to 4 inches of snow and sleet. Around one- tenth of an inch of ice from freezing rain.
* Timing...snow will change to sleet and freezing rain late this afternoon...and all freezing rain Monday evening. Precipitation will gradually change to rain late Monday night into Tuesday morning.
* Winds...southeast 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.
* Temperatures...in the teens tonight...rising into the upper 20s to lower 30s Monday into Monday night. Temperatures will rise into the mid and upper 40s Tuesday.
* Impacts...snow and ice will cause slippery roads and travel will be difficult. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow...sleet...or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities...and use caution while driving.
Source WBAL

Decisions Ahead This Week In Gray Related Trials


RadioOnFire.com - This is likely to be the week we learn whether there will be further delays in the trials of the officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
The Maryland Attorney General's Office is asking the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, to intervene, to determine whether Officer William Porter should be forced to testify at the trials of the five other accused officers.
Porter, whose trial ended with a hung jury in December, has been fighting any effort to force him to testify.
He faces a retrial in June.
Identical requests to the Court of Appeals were filed on Wednesday in each of the five remaining cases.

CLICK HERE to read the filing in the case of Officer Edward Nero, who is scheduled to go on trial next week.

So far the Court of Appeals has not acted on  the request.
On Maryland's News This Week, attorney Warren Alperstein, who is not representing anyone in this case, said that such requests are rare.  He notes that prosecutors have limited grounds for filing an appeal, and these request don't appear to meet those standards.
Alperstein believes the Court of Appeals may agree to take up this issue, since there is a belief that all of these cases will wind up in the state's highest court, if the officers are convicted.
If the Court of Appeals takes up the case, it would delay the start of the trial of Officer Edward Nero, which is scheduled to start one week from tomorrow.
Nero, Officer Garrett Miller, and Lt. Brian Rice are the three officers who arrested Gray.
Last month. Judge Barry Williams denied a prosecution request to force Porter to testify at the trials of Nero, Miller and Rice.
Prosecutors then asked Williams to delay the trials while they appeal the decision.  On Wednesday, Williams refused.

CLICK HERE to read Judge Williams' order denying a request to delay the trial of Officer Edward Nero.

Miller's trial is scheduled for March 7.  Rice's trial is scheduled for April 13.
Porter faces a retrial on June 13.  His attorneys have fought efforts to compel their client to testify, even though he is being offered limited immunity by prosecutors.
Porter is considered a material witness in the cases of Officer Caesar Goodson, who drove the van that transported Freddie Gray, and who faces second degree murder charges, and the case of Sgt. Alicia White, who was Porter's supervisor.
Goodson's and White's trials have been delayed, as Porter's attorneys appeal the order for their client to testify to the Court of Special Appeals.
Prosecutors issued a written response to this appeal this past Wednesday.

CLICK HERE to read the prosecution's arguments to the Court of Special Appeals
The Court of Special Appeals will hear oral arguments in the Goodson and White cases on March 4.

Source WBAL

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Faculty Asks Catholic College's President To Resign


RadioOnFire.com - Faculty members of Mount St. Mary's University voted overwhelmingly Friday to ask the embattled president of the rural Maryland school to resign by Monday morning.
They sent Simon Newman a letter announcing the 87-3 vote despite his announcement Friday afternoon that he was reinstating two faculty members he had fired Monday amid an uproar over his plan to identify freshmen most likely to fail and offer tuition refunds to those who chose to leave early in their first semester.
The faculty letter, provided to The Associated Press by David McCarthy, the faculty secretary, said the dispute had divided the Emmitsburg college community in a way that could not be resolved as long as Newman continues as president.
The letter said "it has become apparent that negative public attention has interfered with our ability to continue in our work and to bring new students and faculty to this campus."
Calls and emails to the university spokesman were not immediately returned.
Newman said in a statement Friday afternoon that tenured philosophy professor Thane Naberhaus and pre-law program director Edward Egan would be reinstated immediately. They were fired Monday after a Board of Trustees investigation into the student newspaper's embarrassing report last month on the so-called student-retention plan. The newspaper reported that Newman had told a faculty member opposed to the plan: "This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies, but you can't. You just have to drown the bunnies ... put a Glock to their heads."
Newman has acknowledged and apologized for the comment.
The board's investigation concluded The Mountain Echo story was a "deliberate mischaracterization" of the program, perpetrated by "an organized, small group of faculty and recent alums working to undermine and ultimately cause the exit of President Newman," board Chairman John Coyne wrote in a public statement last month. He said those responsible would be held accountable.
In his letter dismissing Naberhaus, Newman wrote that the professor had violated "a duty of loyalty" to the university. The university has said in a statement that Egan violated "the code of conduct and acceptable use policies."
Egan has said he believes he was fired in retaliation for his role as student newspaper adviser.
Neither Naberhaus nor Egan immediately responded to telephone and email requests for interviews Friday.
Newman's statement on the reinstatements said he was committed to mending his relationship with the faculty and to "make a new beginning as a unified team."
"You have my solemn commitment to work together to restore our relationship and our school," Newman said.
Board of Trustees member Rev. Kevin Farmer said the board still supports Newman, a former financial-industry executive hired in 2014 to lead the college in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Newman has said he'd like to double enrollment, currently about 2,300, and transform the liberal arts school "to meet the needs of a demanding global economy."
"We embrace his vision for the future of the university and believe he is the best person to carry it out," Farmer said in the statement.
Critics say the student-retention plan seemed designed to weed out, rather than support, students at risk of failing. Student-retention researcher and author Alan Seidman of Walden University said decisions about student suitability should be made during the application process, not after they're accepted.
After they're accepted, "you have an obligation in my opinion to provide them with programs and services to help them be successful," he said.
The faculty firings prompted more than 8,100 college faculty members nationwide to sign an online petition calling for their reinstatement.
Hans-Joerg Tiede of the American Association of University Professors said the reinstatements were a welcome development.
"However, the recent developments have brought to light concerns over the conduct of governance at the institution that will clearly need to be addressed collaboratively between the faculty, board of trustees and administration," he said in an email.
Peter Bonilla of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education said his organization will be watching the school closely.
"A lot of people in the Mount St. Mary's community feel that it's a start but it's nowhere near finished," he said in a telephone interview.

Source WBAL

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