MOBTOWN BEAT

Three-plus hours at the City Council Public Safety Committee hearing on police procedures

Three-plus hours at the City Council Public Safety Committee hearing on police procedures

There are two, maybe three, important things to take from the three-plus-hour hearing on police procedures the City Council’s Public Safety Committee held last Tuesday.

Nose-picking, cringe-worthy Skynyrd tunes, and automatic defibrillators: The Nose goes to Gov. Hogan's inaugural gal

Nose-picking, cringe-worthy Skynyrd tunes, and automatic defibrillators: The Nose goes to Gov. Hogan's inaugural gal

Daniella, the new Maryland governor’s 2-year-old granddaughter, just wouldn’t quit. There she was, up on the stage in her mom’s arms, right next to Larry Hogan at his inaugural gala at the...

Whistleblower cop Joseph Crystal recalls his battles with Baltimore's blue wall of silence

Whistleblower cop Joseph Crystal recalls his battles with Baltimore's blue wall of silence

Faced with a potentially life-changing dilemma, Joseph Crystal asked his parents what to do. “Both my parents were NYPD police,” Crystal says by phone from a law office in New York City.

Baltimore's iconic Pratt Library is getting a 100 million dollar makeover, but where are all of the books going?

Baltimore's iconic Pratt Library is getting a 100 million dollar makeover, but where are all of the books going?

In the great wainscotted conference room on the second floor of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Dr. Carla Hayden, the library’s longtime director, apologizes for her casual dress, declines...

The Mosby Effect: The inauguration of Baltimore's new state's attorney was a godly rebuke of her critics

The Mosby Effect: The inauguration of Baltimore's new state's attorney was a godly rebuke of her critics

As a candidate last year for Baltimore City state’s attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby cast herself as a crime crusader who, unlike incumbent Gregg Bernstein, would sow dread among Baltimore criminals....

Your 'Rain Tax' Dollars at Work: Baltimore's mandatory stormwater-management improvement plan is out for public review

Your 'Rain Tax' Dollars at Work: Baltimore's mandatory stormwater-management improvement plan is out for public review

The City of Baltimore will soon start using almost $80 million in revenues from its stormwater-management fees on property owners—what detractors call the “rain tax”—on 95...

The Year in Murder: 211 murders in 2014

The Year in Murder: 211 murders in 2014

Baltimore had 211 murders in 2014—two dozen fewer than in 2013 but still up from 2011’s low of only 197. When you look back on the year in murders the patterns look pretty similar to...

Whistle-blowing former Baltimore police detective sues department for retaliation

Whistle-blowing former Baltimore police detective sues department for retaliation

The end of former Baltimore Police Department (BPD) detective Joseph Crystal’s career was well-documented in the media this year, as two of his colleagues were convicted of misconduct arising...

FBI's release of confidential memo about BGF targeting 'white cops' becomes issue in Baltimore gang trial

FBI's release of confidential memo about BGF targeting 'white cops' becomes issue in Baltimore gang trial

Buried in Justin Fenton’s article in The Baltimore Sun on Dec. 20 about the killings of two New York City police officers, reportedly by a man who had shot his girlfriend in the Baltimore...

The real battle over protest events in Baltimore are on social media, where control of the narrative is on the line

The real battle over protest events in Baltimore are on social media, where control of the narrative is on the line

Following Saturday’s murder of two police officers in New York by Ismaaiyl Brinsley (who announced his intentions via Instagram and included the hashtags “#RIPErivGardner [sic] and #RIPMikeBrown), the...

Kids say the darndest things: 11-year-old's exclamation in play in Mondawmin Mall drug-arrests case

Kids say the darndest things: 11-year-old's exclamation in play in Mondawmin Mall drug-arrests case

"Shut the fuck up!" Latoya Eaton yelled at her 11-year-old daughter. What the daughter had just said—"That's not my mom's money!"—is now in play in a $4,530 drug-money forfeiture case filed Dec. 9 in federal court in Maryland.

Victims of a 'unique' Baltimore parking problem fight the law, and the law wins

Victims of a 'unique' Baltimore parking problem fight the law, and the law wins

Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (14th District) thinks it might take an act of Congress to adjust Baltimore’s parking laws.

Pot decriminalization brings sharp drop in arrests in Baltimore City

Pot decriminalization brings sharp drop in arrests in Baltimore City

On Oct. 1, the Maryland law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana went into effect. In Baltimore City, law enforcers immediately started making far fewer arrests: nearly a fifth...

As campaign-finance rules change, Baltimore developer Edward St. John floods Maryland politics with cash

As campaign-finance rules change, Baltimore developer Edward St. John floods Maryland politics with cash

In April, the Maryland Board of Elections made a momentous announcement: In order to comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the total amount of money Maryland political donors may lawfully...

On the night of Ferguson grand jury decision, the MICA community grapples with racist graffiti

On the night of Ferguson grand jury decision, the MICA community grapples with racist graffiti

Less than two hours after the verdict of the Darren Wilson case was announced in Ferguson, Missouri, on Nov. 24, more than 200 MICA students, as well as members of the administration, faculty, and...

Baltimore's All-State Career School is in federal law-enforcers' cross-hairs

Baltimore's All-State Career School is in federal law-enforcers' cross-hairs

All-State Career School, a trade school in Baltimore for would-be truckers, healthcare workers, and others seeking a route to gainful employment, is apparently under federal criminal investigation...

Transgender Victims Remembered: Despite legal progress, 233 were killed in anti-transgender violence over the last year

Transgender Victims Remembered: Despite legal progress, 233 were killed in anti-transgender violence over the last year

Two lines of people holding unlit candles stretched down the long center aisle at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore last Thursday. As the service attendees—more than a hundred total&...

Whose Poop?: A new project measures sewage and dog waste entering the Jones Falls from stormwater

Whose Poop?: A new project measures sewage and dog waste entering the Jones Falls from stormwater

A slight scent of detergent is in the air as Alice Volpitta, Water Quality Manager for the clean-water advocacy group Blue Water Baltimore (BWB), takes a few careful steps down the top of a poured-...

WYPR management hires union-busting law firm to quash union efforts

WYPR management hires union-busting law firm to quash union efforts

Workers at the NPR-affiliated radio station WYPR are raising questions about the station’s policies in the wake of their failure to form a labor union. At the forefront: How does a station...

DPW rushes into the modern age of service delivery--with QR codes?

DPW rushes into the modern age of service delivery--with QR codes?

Baltimore residents who really, really need a way to pay their water bill faster are in luck. Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works announced a QR code-based system this week, showing its...

As City Council and public clamor for police body cameras, mayor hires group to clarify questions raised

As City Council and public clamor for police body cameras, mayor hires group to clarify questions raised

The video, posted on YouTube, shows the kind of behavior police officers sometimes encounter. A woman in a...

It Takes a Village: Educators, unions rally for continued funding of community schools

It Takes a Village: Educators, unions rally for continued funding of community schools

Administrators, teachers, union organizers, community leaders, politicians, and students—including cheerleading squads and step teams—were among those gathered in front of City Hall on...

Jimmy John's workers fight for a union

Jimmy John's workers fight for a union

On Sunday, Oct. 19, as Ravens fans meandered around the chilly Inner Harbor in advance of the game set to begin later that afternoon, about two dozen workers and community supporters formed a...

Anatomy of a car stop: Baltimore police explain their position to city council public safety committee

Anatomy of a car stop: Baltimore police explain their position to city council public safety committee

More Baltimore police should handcuff suspects temporarily for the officers’ safety. Police can park a suspect’s car to save them the towing and impoundment fees. Any time a police...

New Regulations Encourage Rush To Judgment On Impounded Dogs

New Regulations Encourage Rush To Judgment On Impounded Dogs

Tyrone Staten says he watched, helpless, as two pit bulls ripped his daughter’s Shih Tzu apart on Ramsey Street on the evening of Sept. 15. His daughter “dropped the leash, she dropped...

Baltimore's narcotic history dates back to the 19th-century shipping-driven boom, quietly aided by bringing Turkish opium to China

Baltimore's narcotic history dates back to the 19th-century shipping-driven boom, quietly aided by bringing Turkish opium to China

With its longstanding reputation as a high-volume heroin town, Baltimore’s modern black-market economy is openly opiated, driving sizeable budgets for maintaining the criminal-justice apparatus...

Huffing and Puffing

Baltimore City Council considers bill to ban vaping wherever smoking's not allowed

A bill to restrict the use of vapor products, often called “electronic cigarettes” and “e-cigs,” is before the Baltimore City Council, prompting a well-attended Oct. 7...

Brutal Reckoning

Developers are anxious to tear down the Mechanic Theatre and McKeldin Fountain, even without a plan (or money) to replace them

The McKeldin Fountain (dedicated as The Waterfall), which is expected to be demolished in the next year, sits between the northbound and southbound lanes of Light Street at Pratt. Its upper reaches...

A New Struggle

Civil rights hero Helena Hicks is barred from an exhibit about civil rights heroes

The irony was lost on no one, least of all Dr. Helena Hicks. "Those white people who were with me suddenly got a taste of what it was like to be barred from a public building," she says. "They got a rude awakening. Especially from a bunch...

Love and Death in Liberia

Love and Death in Liberia

Six years ago, you meet a woman at Red Emma’s.  She passes through Baltimore a few times after, always doing medical studies and going on about African street kids. There is a loose...

High Stakes

High Stakes

It’s the highest-stakes lottery poor people play. Winners can get their rent paid for life. Losers may end up sleeping on the street. The last chance to play was in 2003.

Costello Goes To City Hall

Costello Goes To City Hall

Eric Costello was appointed to replace William Cole as the 11th District City Councilman on Sept. 23, after a four-hour public hearing and no deliberation by the committee empaneled to consider 14 candidates. Upon...

The Counselor

Did Baltimore super-lawyer Kenneth Ravenell serve as more than just a criminal-defense attorney for accused narco-mogul Richard Byrd?

Maryland criminal-defense attorney Kenneth Ravenell has been called the “MVP” of the Baltimore defense bar, a man whose arguments once convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a...

Put $4.5 Billion In Your Pipe

Baltimore Doubles Its Borrowing Cap For City Water And Sewer Service

The City Council Sept. 22 passed a bill that would more than double the borrowing limit of the Department of Public Works to $4.5 billion. 

Late to the Party

David D'Amico Extradited From Colombia To Answer 2010 Federal Pot-Trafficking And Money-Laundering Indictment In Maryland

David D’Amico turned 50 a week before his Aug. 28 appearance in Maryland U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, where he consented to pre-trial detention in a massive 2010 pot-trafficking and money-laundering case in which...

"We were just eviscerators"

State Autopsy Technicians Lawyer Up For Better Pay And Working Conditions

A dozen autopsy technicians who work at the Office of Chief State Medical Examiner have hired a private lawyer to advocate for better pay and fairer treatment. "The people who pick up our trash make more money than we do," Amanda McGinnis,...

Market Value

New Plans Aim to Change the Image, and Reality, of Lexington Market

Walk into Reading Terminal Market, an enclosed public market in downtown Philadelphia, and you'll find yourself surrounded by an assortment of rich smells and bright colors. You'll see fresh produce and sushi, specialty cheeses, artisanal...

Baltimore Police "Transparency" On Use Of Force Leaves Something To Be Desired

As the fallout from the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri reverberates, City Paper wondered where the Baltimore Police stand on their own use-of-force cases.

Up For Debate

A Rift In Urban Debate Groups Reflects Prickly Questions About The Role Of Nonprofit Groups In Minority Communities

Students are gathered around a long table in a research lab-turned classroom at Coppin Academy on the campus of Coppin State University. The white board is covered with formal debate rules and timing, and off to the side is a page with...

Hennessy Heist saga goes on

Hennessy Heist saga goes on

In yet another crack in the Hennessy Heist, state comptroller agents issued a summons to the proprietor of Apple Tree Liquors at 4159 Patterson Ave. on Aug. 1 after they found 11 more bottles of the stolen hooch in the store.

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