Ex-Baltimore cop pulls back dark curtain on corruption culture

Reuters/Evan Habeeb
A former Baltimore detective has started tweeting daily examples of police brutality, false arrests, and lying in court, which he said he witnessed over the course of 11 years serving in the Baltimore Police Department (BPD)

Michael A. Wood, Jr. used nine tweets on Wednesday to blow the whistle about things he had “seen & participated in, in policing that is corrupt, intentional or not.

Wood wrote that he will tweet some examples each day “so that we have time for ?s, reflections, and improvement in between.”

His first batch of tweets makes for harrowing reading about allegedly routine behavior at the BPD. Six of the department’s police officers are already in caught in legal crosshairs after being accused of being responsible for the death of African-American man Freddie Gray, who suffered a serious injury while in their custody.

This is not the first time Wood has broken the ‘blue wall of silence,’ the term used to describe the unwritten rule that exists among police officers about not reporting on a colleague’s errors, misconduct, or crimes. In a three-hour-long candid radio interview on Dogma Debate with David Smiley, back in May, Wood talked about racism in the police department, where a culture exists to get the arrest even if it means breaking the law. He also discussed what was wrong and illegal about the arrest of Freddie Gray.

Wood said he changed his views about policing when doing patrol in the drug-filed neighborhoods of Baltimore, in what he refers to as “the failed drug war,” where he witnessed how the system traps people into a cycle of involvement within the criminal justice system.

It’s not just police who are participating in the culture,” Wood told the Secular News Network. He believes “the culture of the nation must change.”

Wood’s words were retweeted and favorited several hundred times, and people have begun responding.

Wood was a special operations sergeant in the Marine Corps before joining the BPD.