Baltimore Police Whistleblower Michael Wood on Justice Reform: ‘This Is a Revolution’


As the case continues into the April death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody in Baltimore, Newsweek chatted with Wood a bit about how his life has evolved since his tweets gained national attention. He is now studying for a doctorate and is a speaker with the criminal justice nonprofit Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

Related article: Police badges have become targets

Wood admits he didn’t become a cop to make the world a better place. “I was always going to be a cop. It was like one of those things. When I was a kid, my mom would tell you I was always going to be a cop,” he says, explaining he would always dress up as a police officer for Halloween. “I would always try to hook her up to date cops so I could be closer to the profession.”

So why did he become a cop?

“I watched COPS and Knight Rider and things like that. I wanted to be cool or whatever, I guess,” Wood says. “You want to go out there and go after the bad guys.

“I was willing to help, but I don't think that was the driving motivation. The driving motivation was the power and the thrill of it, and doing something exciting.”

Wood’s first assignment was foot patrol. His post was in the Western District—and specifically the Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was arrested. Gray's arrest and subsequent death sparked a wave of riots in Baltimore, mirroring protests in Ferguson and New York against police brutality.

Wood started speaking out during his last few years on the job. He had become skeptical of aggressive pursuit of minor drug charges and quality-of-life offenses, and said that much in private Facebook groups.

“They still are in Reefer Madness mode—they're afraid of marijuana,” he says. “It's like, dude, it doesnt do anything. They won't even read the science behind it. And they're testifying in court as narcotics experts!”

Related article: The Crisis of Juvenile Prison Rape:

Other cops in the Facebook group rebuffed his criticism of drug enforcement, with one calling him “a liberal hippy who was trying to protect a thug,” he says. He eventually got kicked out of the Facebook group.

Wood also drew ire from the department for an extracurricular project. In his off time, he wrote a 500-page professional guide for aspiring sergeants and lieutenants. Along with managerial tips, the guide discussed respectful interaction with civilians—including those with cameras. He said he was pushed into a job in the supply unit as punishment for writing the guide.

The Baltimore Police Department has not yet responded to a request for comment from Newsweek.

Wood says police reform is taking place. Promises, however, have fallen short. And the pace has been too slow. He believes, however, that reformers will win out in the long run. How they accomplish their goal, however, might not sit well with some.

“I’m not very optimistic about the police and politicians coming into this willfully,” he says, explaining: “The facts are on our side—we're going to win this. Ultimately this is the right side of history. So whether this movement is violent or nonviolent is entirely up to the law enforcement community, because they’re the ones escalating this.

“We need to remember that our job in law enforcement is to de-escalate.”

So will this civil unrest get worse?

Related article: DIED in CUSTODY: Man jailed since April for alleged $5 theft found dead in cell

“I dont see any reason why it wouldn't. People say, ‘Why riot?’ I’m on the side that says, ‘What else are you supposed to do?’”

He continues: “There's always violence involved in revolution, and this is a revolution—and it doesn't have to be violent. The people who are resisting are the problem.”

Without unrest such as riots, he says, recent police reforms wouldn’t have taken place.

“There's been a dramatic change in the last year. Without these events, you’re telling me things wouldn't have changed?” he says. “Come on!”

This blog has been shifted!(Due to Censorship) Blog has been shifted to: 
Articles and videos from now on will be posted at:
Underground America Inc.
Follow on YouTube
and Twitter

NEW!! Underground Forum Post anything!!

Popular posts from this blog

Medical Marijuana Could Cost Big Pharma

Operation Bayonet: Inside the Sting That Hijacked an Entire Dark Web Drug Market

2Pac - Can't C Me (HD Video)