Baltimore City Power Rankings: Juan Dixon, Elijah Cummings, Under Armour, MTA, more

⬆︎ Juan Dixon
In an emotional press conference, Baltimore native, former University of Maryland standout, and seven-year NBA veteran Juan Dixon was introduced as the new men's basketball coach at Coppin State. Among the noteworthy attendees: two of Dixon's former coaches, Maryland coach Gary Williams and former Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci, as well as Dixon's aunt, former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon. The feel-good homecoming is the kind of story everyone can get behind, and hopefully it pays dividends for the Eagles, who have had six straight losing seasons and 12 in the last 13. Though he doesn't have much of a track record as a coach, Dixon's notoriety should, at a minimum, elevate Coppin State's profile, especially with recruits in the talent-rich local basketball community. And it will be a boost for current players too, as junior forward Blake Simpson told The Sun: "Knowing he played in the NBA should be a great environment for us. He's going to bring a better crowd and it should be exciting for us that we get the professional development we need to be successful."

⬆︎ Elijah Cummings
Baltimore's congressman is tearing it up. This week he released Department of Defense documents showing that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was explicitly warned not to take cash payments from Russian-government-connected entities without the express written consent of Major League—no, that's not right… without the permission of the Department of Defense, his former employer. As everyone knows, Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, took money from Russians and Turks and then hid that fact—a possible felony. Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Investigations Committee, is also seeking documents from the White House which, he says, is "stonewalling." "It does not make any sense, and it makes the American people think the White House has something to hide," he said. "Here is a paper trail that the White House does not want our committee to follow, but let it be known we will follow it and we will follow it with everything we got."

⬅︎➡︎ Under Armour
Baltimore's favorite billionaire, Kevin Plank, was forced to report his company's first-ever quarterly loss last week. Amid a long slide in the stock price (about 50 percent over the past year), this would ordinarily be very bad news. But the stock price soared on the news, because, at a penny a share, the reported loss was just a quarter of what Wall Street analysts had predicted. UA beat revenue projections too—albeit just barely. And that means the upstart sports apparel colossus is in fine fettle, according to its jocktastic, jargon-spouting founder: "By proactively managing our growth to deliver superior innovative product, continuing to strengthen our connection with consumers and increasing our focus on operational excellence," Plank said in a press release, "we have great confidence in our ability to drive toward our full year targets."

⬇︎ MTA
The Sun's Kevin Rector once again tried to obtain security camera footage from the Mondawmin Metro station from the day riots broke out following Freddie Gray's funeral, and the MTA once again denied his public information act request. When The Sun first requested it in 2015, the MTA said State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby had asked for it to not be released because it was still being used in her office's investigation. This year, as was the case last year, the MTA cited security concerns as the reason for keeping the footage under wraps. Video from around the station could potentially show the extent to which police dressed in riot gear provoked students who were stranded at the transit hub after the city shut down the buses and Metro. The confrontation escalated to both sides clashing and throwing rocks, followed by looting and rioting across the city. Two years after the uprising, the people still deserve to know just what happened, and it's ridiculous they don't. They also deserve a public information act with some teeth.

⬇︎ Baltimore County Police
The county cops have shot six people so far this year, and every shooting was captured on body-worn cameras. But the department has refused to publicly release the footage in all but one of the cases, citing ongoing investigations. This is in remarkable contrast to the Baltimore City department, which not only has shot only 3 people, but at least allowed reporters to see the edited footage on all three. The county's policy seems to have shifted under the new chief, Terry Sheridan, although the department says it hasn't: "The department has always planned to make case-by-case decisions on releasing footage," a spokeswoman told the Sun.

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