Federal officials found the Baltimore Police Department's claim that gangs had formed a pact to "take out" officers in the wake of Freddie Gray's death to be "non-credible," according to a new report by Vice News.
Using documents acquired from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the article addresses the Baltimore Police Department's April 27 announcement they had evidence of a "credible threat" posed by members of the Black Guerilla Family, Bloods, and Crips joining together to "take-out" law enforcement officers. Members of the Bloods and Crips told City Paper and other media outlets that, while there was a truce, it wasn't made to target Baltimore Police officers; rather, it was to stop the violence while protesting the death of Freddie Gray and police brutality. The documents that Vice News acquired show that the FBI in Baltimore didn't find the supposed threat credible:
One alleged threat derived from the media office of the Baltimore Police Department, which claimed that "members of various gangs including the Black Guerrilla Family, Bloods, and Crips have entered into a partnership to 'take out' law enforcement officers." Baltimore police issued a press release on April 27, and the story was widely reported in the media.
But an email sent that day by a DHS employee who works at the Maryland Fusion Center to DHS intelligence officer Earl Rose IV called into question the integrity of the Baltimore Police Department's [BPD] threat information. The fusion center employee said it was "curious that the alert came out from BPD media relations section instead of BPD Intelligence Unit, which is where we typically receive this kind of info…. The tensions have heightened here in Baltimore over the last 72 hours so this alert cannot be considered without that context."
Hours later, in the same email chain, another DHS employee said, "FBI Baltimore has interviewed the source of this information and has determined this threat to be non-credible," apparently marking this the first time that it was debunked since the threat first surfaced.
Vice News also learned that DHS had been monitoring the protests in Baltimore after Freddie Gray's death and had sent 400 federal officers into the city to protect "high-risk federal facilities" and a facility owned by Exelon Corporation in South Baltimore that housed three containers of natural gas.