15 49.0138 8.38624 1 0 4000 1 https://baltimorecitypolicedept.org 300 0

BPD History

The Police Department is Baltimore’s first line of defense against crime

Police protection in Baltimore town began at 1784 when the town commissioners were empowered by the Gen. assembly to higher constables and watchmen to maintain law and order. Three constables and six watchmen were employed to police the towns six wards. As the town grew the force and constables and watchmen was increased. It wasn’t until 1853, however, that, by virtue of an act passed by the Gen. assembly, the police force donned uniforms and began to carry firearms. Owing to the know nothing movement [which is described in Chapter 1] and other factors, these were hectic years in Baltimore and the politics written police force was unable to cope with the widespread disorder and lawlessness that prevailed. As a consequence, in 1859, the Gen. assembly enacted a bill which transferred control of the police department from city to state hands. Until 1920, a board of three commissioners appointed by the governor with consent of the state Senate directed the affairs of Baltimore’s Police Department. In that year, the legislator provided for a single administrative head to be appointed by the governor for a term of six years

the Police Department has the duty of maintaining public peace, order, and security, and of protecting the public’s health and morals. The administrative head of the department is the police commissioner. Serving under him are the chief inspectors and five other inspectors who supervise the activities of some 2500 employees who serve as patrolman or members of various bureaus. For purposes of administration, the city is divided into a number of police districts or precincts. Each precinct is assigned a detachment of policemen headed by a Capt. and supervised by a designated inspector.

Seven strategically located police stations serve the city they are located as follows central Fallsway and Fayette St., Eastern 1619 Bank St. NE. Ashland Ave. and door and Street northern Cheswick and 34th St. NW. Pennsylvania Ave. near Dauphin Southern Austin and Patapsco St., Southwest Calhoun and Pratt Street

The Detective Bureau, Bureau of identification, traffic division, taxicab Bureau, Bureau of accidents and missing persons, police Academy, Marine division, vice squad, narcotics squad, central communications Bureau, and central records Bureau are among the important branches of the department.

Policemen perform any duties in the days work and the job calls for intelligence, good judgment, calmness, good health, knowledge of public law, and courage. Applicants are carefully selected and trained. In order to qualify for a place on the police force, a man must be between 21 and 36 years old, a citizen of the United States, and a registered voter. He must be at least 5’8” tall and weigh no less than hundred and 50 pounds. If the applicant successfully passes the civil service examination administered by the city service commission, he is appointed as a probationary and admitted to training at the police academy, which is located as Catholic road and 34 Street.

In this building, with its modern classrooms, well-equipped gymnasium, and splendid indoor pistol range, the rookie [cop] undergoes a 12 week training program. The curriculum is a board one and includes such subjects as criminal law, police procedures, patrol methods, intellectual and interracial relations, juvenile delinquency, practical fingerprinting, use of firearms, and physical education.

After graduating from the Academy, some of the men are assigned to districts and others to vice, gambling, and narcotics squads where they are under the supervision of experienced personnel. Men assigned to uniform patrol are signposts adjoining those of practical and experienced officers who aid and advise the probationers in their duties. They may also receive assignments to radio patrol cars where they are under the guidance of experienced officers.

The enforcement of law and order in Baltimore was a very uncertain thing during the decade 1815 to 1860 and, as a consequence, the city earned for itself the un-inevitable title of “mob town” during that period. Riots, brawls, and other disturbances were quite common. Baltimore ends took their politics very seriously and elections, in particular, arouse the exam to a state of such feverish excitement as to produce violence and disorder.

The municipal and presidential election campaign of 1856 were especially notable in those respects. The know nothing party was a very strong in Baltimore and during the summer before the elections, gangs of know nothings ruffians almost took over the city. Armed with shoe makers awls and clubs, the hoodlums roamed the streets attacking hapless Democrats, foreigners, and members of minority religious groups. Citizens were so terrorized, they were compelled to barricade themselves in their own homes, or temporarily moved to the county.

In October, shortly before the mayoral election, a pitched battle occurred between the wearing political factions, which took on all the aspects of an infantry engagement. When it became clear that the know nothings candidate had won the election, his triumphant partisan cast off all restraints. On November the force, the day of the presidential election, bloodshed and terror were rampant. There were hundreds of students and stabbings and in one battle, which occurred near the Bel Air market, artillery was actually used.

For the next few years anarchy was the rule rather than the exception on the streets of Baltimore. Then gradually, a reform tide began to set in. In 1860, a reform mayor was elected and the police department was reorganized and placed under state control. Law and order with us at last restored.

Less the impression of be conveyed that these were on productive years in Baltimore, a look at the credit side of the ledger is important. It reveals that, in 1852, Loyola College was founded; the Baltimore clearinghouse was established in 1858; an ordinance was passed, in 1858, provided for a paid fire department; and, in 1859, the cornerstone of the Peabody Institute was laid.

Baltimore was second only to New York in the export of flour, on the eve of the Civil War. Tobacco exports were like wise heavy, going principally to France. Coffee was also an important factor in Baltimore’s import trade, representing about 25% of the port total business. Brazil furnished most of the coffee, taking flour in exchange. By 1851, Baltimore led the country in coffee imports. Although the trade want somewhat in the 1890s, coffee remains to this day one of our most valuable imports. It is been responsible for a thriving Baltimore industry and for many a local family fortune.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit

The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) provides police services to the city of Baltimore, Maryland and was officially established by the Maryland Legislature on March 16, 1853. It is organized into ten districts, nine based on geographical areas and the Public Housing Section, and is responsible for policing 78.3 square miles (203 km2) of land and 7.7 square miles (20 km2) of waterways.




The first attempt to establish a police department in Baltimore occurred in 1784, nearly 60 years after the founding of the original town, when a guard force of constables were authorized to enforce town laws and arrest those in violation. The first BPD officer to die in the line of duty occurred when Sergeant William Jourdan was shot and killed by an unknown gunman during the first city council elections on October 14, 1857 Night Watchman George Workner was the first law enforcement officer to be killed in the city when he was stabbed during an escape attempt by nine inmates in the Baltimore Jail on March 14, 1808, but his death predates the founding of the department.[3]

In 1845 the current Baltimore Police Department was founded by the state legislature “to provide for a better security for life and property in the City of Baltimore”. The early days of the Department were marked by conflict over Know Nothing control.[4]

In 1861, during the U.S. Civil War, the police department was taken over by the federal government and run by the U.S. Military until it was turned back over to the legislature in 1862.

In July 1974 officers joined other striking municipal workers for five days during the Baltimore police strike.

As of a 2000 survey published by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2003, BPD is the 8th largest municipal police department in the United States with a total of 3,034 police officers. Comparatively as of the 2000 U.S. census Baltimore ranked as the 17th largest city in the United States with a population of 651,154.

As of 2010 there have been 120 police officers killed in the line of duty, which is by far the largest total in Maryland.[1][5] The next largest total belongs to the Maryland State Police, with 40 troopers killed in the line of duty as of 2005.[6]

Technological progress

BPD has evolved its crime fighting technology and techniques over the years beginning with the introduction of call boxes in 1885. Other major technological upgrades include the introduction of the Bertillion system in 1896, police radio communications in 1933, a police laboratory in 1950, computerized booking procedures and 911 emergency systems in 1985, the first ever 311 nonemergency system and CCTV cameras (like those in the United Kingdom) in 1996, and the CitiStat system in 2000.[7]


In the early 1960s the Baltimore City Park Police were absorbed into the Baltimore Police Department. In 2005, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City Police were disbanded and operations taken over by the Baltimore Police Department. Housing Authority officers, if they desired, had to apply for jobs with the city police losing their time and seniority they had from previous employment with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. There is current talk of merging the Baltimore Schools Police into the department as well though it is unclear if those officers would have to reapply for positions within the Baltimore Police Department and what if any job benefits such as seniority and pension they might be able to bring with them in the new position.


The Baltimore Police Department is staffed by nearly 4000 civilian and sworn personnel. These include dispatchers, crime lab technicians, chaplains and unarmed auxiliary police officers.

African Americans in the department

A historically Irish American dominated police department,[8] African Americans were not hired as police officers until 1937 when Violet Hill Whyte became the BPD’s first African American officer.[9] The first African American male officers Walter T. Eubanks Jr., Harry S. Scott, Milton Gardner, and J. Hiram Butler Jr. were hired in 1938, all of whom were assigned to plainclothes. [10] In 1943, African American officers were finally allowed to wear police uniforms, and by 1950, there were fifty African American officers in the department.[10]Patrolman Henry Smith Jr. became the first African American officer to die in the line of duty in 1962, when he was shot to death breaking up a dice game on North Milton Avenue in East Baltimore.[11] The department itself had not fully integrated until 1966.[12]

Prior to 1966, African American officers were limited to foot patrols as they were barred from the use of squad cars. These officers were quarantined in rank, barred from patrolling in White neighborhoods, and would often only be given specialty assignments in positions in the Narcotics division or as undercover plainclothes officers.[12] Further, African American officers were the target of racial harassment from their Caucasian coworkers and African American citizens in the communities they patrolled. During this time African American officers were subject to racial slurs from white co-workers during roll call,[13] and encountered degrading racial graffiti in the very districts/units they were assigned. During this time period, two future police commissioners of Baltimore, Bishop L. Robinson and Edward J. Tilghman were amongst Baltimore’s African American police officers.[12]

During the civil rights movement, trust between the department and the largely African American city were strained. Racial riots due to police brutality were occurring all over America, and the racial mistreatment at the hands of several White officers labeled Baltimore as a trouble spot for violence. The police force at the time was also under study of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as the department was severely troubled at the time. The IACP report showed the BPD to be the most corrupt and antiquated in the nation with an almost non-existent relationship with Baltimore’s African American community. This lack of relationship resulted in African American citizens being subject to both excessive force from police officers, and retaliation from community members for interacting with city police officers.[12] The changes demanded in the report occurred almost overnight with the hiring of new police commissioner Donald Pomerleau. Pomerleau himself was a prior-service marine who authored the IACP report committed to changing the department and improving relations with Baltimore’s African American community.[12]

Since Pomerleau’s hiring, the department made reforms to improve the relations with Baltimore’s growing African American community ending the segregationist practices within the department. In 1968, racial rioting in response to the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. broke out across Baltimore’s African American neighborhoods. As few African American officers held rank within the department during the riot[14] the white-dominated police department found itself at odds against the African American community. In 1971, the Vanguard Justice Society was founded, an organization representing the rights and interests of the department’s African American officers.[15] Throughout the 1970s, more African Americans advanced in the department[15][16][17][18] with Black officers holding the positions of district commanders and chief of patrol. In 1984, in a political move by Mayor Donald Schaefer to give the majority African American population more power in the city, Bishop L. Robinson was named as Baltimore’s Police Commissioner.[19] Robinson was the first African American police officer to command the department which was previously controlled by Irish American and Italian American police officers.[20][21] Robinson was also the force’s first Black officer to command the Eastern District and the Patrol Division. The department also redefined several of its racial policies in direct response to riots in Los Angeles and Miami as a means of avoiding similar racial tension in a city with a larger percentage of African American citizens.

Currently, the department is administered by Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III and Deputy Commissioner of Administration John P. Skinner, both of whom are white and Deputy Commissioner of Operations Anthony E. Barksdale who is African American. [22]

During Martin O’Malley‘s administration as mayor, the department had become 43% African American.[23] While progress has been made to improve the department’s relationship with Baltimore’s now majority African American community, improvements are still being made to the department which for several years has been subject to criticism for its treatment of African American citizens. Police community relations have remained strained with the war on drugs that has plagued several African American neighborhoods in East and West Baltimore and coincidentally enough, many of the most despised officers in several of Baltimore’s African American neighborhoods are also African American.[24]

Rank structure and insignia

The Baltimore Police Department uses these sworn personnel ranks:

Title Insignia
Police Commissioner
4 Gold Stars.svg
Deputy Police Commissioner
3 Gold Stars.svg
2 Gold Stars.svg
Colonel Gold.png
Lieutenant Colonel
US-O5 insignia.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain insignia gold.svg
US-O1 insignia.svg
Baltimore Police Sergeant Insignia.svg
Police Officer

The BPD offers promotional opportunities to members with at least three years of service. Promotion offers you advancement into a supervisory position. Opportunities for advanced training are provided to members to enhance their growth after graduation from the police academy. Specialized training in firearms, defense tactics, and job-related topics such as basic criminal investigation are offered.[25]


The Commissioner is head of the department. Under the Commissioner are two Deputy Commissioners, heading the Administrative and Operations bureaus, respectively. The Administrative Bureau is divided into several sections – Personnel, Fiscal, Education & Training, Property, CALEA/Written Directives and Central Records, each headed by a captain or major – as well as several units under lieutenants or sergeants.[26]

The Operations Bureau is divided into the Patrol and Criminal Investigation Divisions, each commanded by a colonel. The Patrol Division comprises two areas, each commanded by a lieutenant colonel. Each area encompasses several districts, each under a major with a captain as second-in-command, as well as several units under lieutenants or sergeants.

Office of the Police Commissioner

  • Chief of Staff
  • Internal Investigation Division
  • Legal Affairs Section
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Public Affairs Office
  • Inspections Section

Operations Bureau

  • Criminal Intelligence Section
    • Operations Squad & Cyber Crimes Unit
    • Executive Protection, Gangs, Watch Center, Covert, & Building Security Units
    • Closed Circuit TV Unit
  • Patrol Division
    • Area 1
      • Southeastern District
      • Eastern District
      • Northeastern District
      • Northern District
      • Adult & Juvenile Booking Section
    • Area 2
      • Central District
      • Northwestern District
      • Western District
      • Southwestern District
      • Southern District
    • Special Operations Section
      • SWAT Platoon A
      • SWAT Platoon B
      • K-9 Unit
      • Traffic Unit
      • Aviation Unit
      • Stadiums & Honor Guard Unit
      • Administrative Unit
      • Special Events & Auxiliary Unit
      • Emergency Service & Marine Unit
  • Criminal Investigation Division
    • Special Investigations SectionHomicide Section
      • Arson, State’s Attorney, Check and Fraud & Pawn Shop Units
      • Child Abuse, Missing Persons & Sex Offender Registry Units
      • Sex Offense & Sex Offense-Cold Case Units
    • Crime Laboratory Section
    • Escape & Apprehension Section
      • Domestic Violence/Elderly Abuse Unit
    • District Detective Units
      • Citywide Robbery Unit
      • Advanced Technical Team
      • Gun Trace Task Force
    • Violent Crime Impact Section
      • High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Unit
      • Regional Auto Theft Team/Auto Crimes Unit
      • Vice Unit
      • West Side Module
      • Northeast & East Side Module
      • Northwest Module
      • Administrative Unit

Administrative Bureau

  • Fiscal Section
  • Central Records SectionCommission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies/Written Directives Unit
    • Communications Unit
  • Education & Training Section
  • Personnel Administration
  • Personnel SectionManagement Information Systems
    • Medical Unit
  • Planning & Research/Crime Analysis Unit
  • Grants Unit
  • Property Section
    • Evidence Control Unit
    • Quartermaster/Construction Unit
    • Fleet Management

Police Commissioners

  • Charles Howard, 1860–62
  • Nicholas L.Wood, 1862–64
  • Samuel Hindes, 1864–66
  • James Young, 1866–67
  • LeFevre Jarrett, 1867–70
  • John W. Davis, 1870–71
  • William H.B. Fusselbaugh, 1871–81
  • George Colton, 1881–87
  • Edson M. Schryver, 1887–97
  • Daniel C. Heddinger, 1897–1900
  • George M. Upsher, 1900–04
  • George R. Willis, 1904–08
  • Sherlock Swann, 1908–10
  • John B.A. Wheltle, 1910–12
  • Morris A. Soper, 1912–13
  • James McEvoy, 1913–14
  • Daniel C. Ammidon, 1914–16
  • Lawrason Riggs, 1916–20
  • Charles D. Gaither, 1920–37
  • William Lawson, 1937–38
  • Robert F. Stanton, 1938–43
  • Hamilton R. Atkinson, 1943–49
  • Beverly Ober, 1949–55
  • James M. Hepbron, 1955–61
  • Bernard Schmidt, 1961–66
  • Donald D. Pomerleau, 1966–81
  • Frank J. Battaglia, 1981–84
  • Bishop L. Robinson, 1984-87 (first African American commissioner)[19]
  • Edward J. Tilghman, 1987–89
  • Edward V. Woods, 1989–93
  • Thomas C. Frazier, 1994–99
  • Ronald L.Daniel, 2000
  • Edward T. Norris, 2000–02
  • Kevin P. Clark, 2003–04
  • Leonard D. Hamm, 2004–2007
  • Frederick H. Bealefeld III, 2007–2012
  • Anthony W. Batts, September 2012-present


Helicopter of the Baltimore Police Department


The Baltimore Police Department fleet consists of primarily the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor and Chevrolet Impala. Some older Chevrolet Caprices may be seen as some are still in service. Motorcycles are Harley Davidson. Vehicles are white with blue and silver striping. A replica of an officer’s badge is on the driver’s and front passenger door. Unmarked Dodge Chargers and assorted Kias are used by some command staff and specialized units.

The primary service weapon is the Glock 22 .40 caliber pistol. Officers are also issued a Monadnock expandable straight baton, Taser X26 and OC pepper spray. Remington 870shotguns are available as well as a less lethal model of the 870. In heavy situations, SWAT officers may employ the use of the G36, which fires the 5.56 NATO round, the H&K UMP40, and M4 variants.

The Espantoon is a type of wooden police baton that is distinct to the city of Baltimore and has been in use for generations. It is an ornate wood straight baton equipped with a swiveled leather strap with which it can be twirled. Between 1994 and 2000, the espantoon was banned in favor of the koga stick due to police commissioner Thomas Frazier’s perception that its twirling intimidated the citizenry. In 2000, Edward T. Norris assumed the office of police commissioner and lifted the ban on the espantoon, although he did not mandate its use. The move was made as part of a general effort to boost morale and instill a more aggressive approach to policing in Baltimore. Norris stated, “When I found out what they meant to the rank and file, I said, ‘Bring them back.’ … It is a tremendous part of the history of this Police Department.” While the move did not make the espantoon an issued item by the department as it once was, it remains to this day an optional piece of carry equipment.[27][28]

From the 1959 Rules and Regulations book

Espantoons, shall be carried on patrol from 4pm until 8am may also be carried by the individual officer, if he so desires, from 8am to 4:00pm commanding officer may, at their discretion, may require espantoon to be carried by all officers under their command on the 8am to 4pm tour. Espantoons are to be used only for self-defense, when absolutely necessary. Members shall not swing, or toy with their espantoon, but shall carry them in such a manner as to make them as inconspicuous as possible. Espantoons may be carried in a ring holder when the officer’s duty is such that both hands are required.

BPD has experienced negative publicity in recent years due to several high profile corruptionand brutality allegations, including the 2005 arrest of Officers William A. King and Antonio L. Murray by the FBI for federal drug conspiracy charges.



During the past generation, the Baltimore Police Department has faced criticism from local media, elected officials, and citizen advocacy groups. The criticism has pertained to the high crime rate in the city of Baltimore, which in some years has been ranked among the highest in the nation. Accusations include numerous arrests of innocent minority citizens for seemingly minor offenses, and the failure to sufficiently assist minority victims of crime.

Arrests for minor offenses

In the mid-2000s, Maryland State Delegate, the Honorable Jill P. Carter daughter of the late civil rights champion, Walter P. Carter, exposed numerous cases of the Baltimore City Police arresting people for seemingly minor offenses, detaining them at Central Booking for several hours. Many were released without charges. Some were reportedly detained at Central Booking for several days before seeing a court commissioner. All arrestees in Maryland are required to have an initial appearance before a court commissioner within 24 hours of their arrest.

It should also be noted that correctional officers at Central Booking were rumored to be on a work slowdown during this time. Corrections personnel are prohibited from striking.

The exposure of these cases led to judicial and legislative action. In 2005, the Maryland Court of Appeals ordered all arrestees not charged within 24 hours to be released.

On May 16, 2006, a Baltimore city police officer, Natalie Preston, arrested a Virginian couple for asking for directions to a major highway. The couple, released after seven hours in city jail, were not charged with any crime. They were initially taken into custody for trespassing on a public street. Their vehicle was impounded at the city lot, with windows down and doors unlocked, resulting in theft of several personal items.[30]

In 2007, the state of Maryland passed a law requiring the automatic expungement of the record of one who is arrested, but then released without being charged, thereby eliminating the dilemma many such victims faced that would prevent them from passing a criminal background check if the record remained, but would not allow for a wrongful arrest lawsuit if the record were expunged.[31]

On June 23, 2010, a $870,000 comprehensive settlement was reached which culminated more than a year of negotiations between the City and Plaintiffs. The settlement provides for far-reaching reforms of the BPD’s arrest and monitoring practices. The suit, which was filed in 2006, and amended in 2007, was brought on behalf of thirteen individual plaintiffs and the Maryland State Conference and Baltimore City Branch of the NAACP.[32]

Notable incidents

Police Commissioner James M. Hepbron

Police commissioner, James M. Hepbron was subject to a hearing led by Delegate Jerome Robinson February 19, 1959, specifications against the commissioner included flouting of rights, errors in judgment and brutal concepts of policing.[33] In the 90 day public hearing and investigation, fourth district delegate Robinson stated that the commissioner “demonstrate[d] lack of a sense of propriety and in several respects a lack of comprehension on the part of the commissioner of the nature of his duties, the functions of the department, and the obligations to the citizenry” [33] During the public hearing Hepbron incessantly left the hearing and/or refused to answer specifications against him. Delegate Jerome Robinson, the igniter of the hearing, had a long history of challenging wiretapping and search warrants as unconstitutional, citing they violate natural rights of the citizen. During the hearing, Delegate Robinson urged the police commissioner to resign and that his resignation would be in the interest of the public. Robinson’s contempt for Hepbron was clear when he wrote, “it is obvious that he has outlived his position. His administration has produced continuing deterioration and the demoralization of the department”.[34] The charges against Hepbron include unlawful wiretapping, phony evidence planted for the purpose of obtaining convictions, perjury, mass arrests and “instances of unbelievable brutality” and illegal detention, all of which had occurred in alarming numbers.[35] Charges included, 1. Flouting of the civil and constitutional rights of the citizens of Baltimore City. Illegal taps of private and public telephone lines. 2. Errors in judgment and administration. 3. Concepts of policing which, because of brutality and insentivity, are shocking to decent thinking people.[35]

While Hepbron’s charges were ones with over a dozen wiretaps and countless hours of footage, Hebron denied to address he was acting illegally and against the courts. Delegate Robinson also cited 36 cases where the cases were dropped and/or defendants were released from penal detention because police had framed defendants and the evidence was planted for conviction. Delegate Robinson called these offenses, “a creature of commissioner Hepbron”. Delegate Robinson also cited the Green Spring Avenue assault by a police officer on a 15 year old boy, as well as countless shootings of unarmed auto-thieves and illegal raids on properly licensed establishments as charges against Hepbron. At one point Robinson stated the head of the city police was “an SS officer in a Chesterfield coat who is impatient with the Bill of Rights and intolerant of the constitutional liberties and prerogatives of the people” [36]Wiretapping was a crusade of Robinson’s, believing it was against Federal law, he enacted this law to ensure state agents did not break federal law or the rights of individuals. He perceived Hepbron’s actions as an affront to law and order.

Alvin J.T. Zumbrun, former managing director of the Criminal Justice Commission, issued a statement against Fourth District democrat Robinson in the police commissioner’s defense. He described the charges brought against Hepbron “the utterances of an angry madman possessed with the mania to have the police commissioner removed at all costs” [37] In addition, Zumbrun cited multiple details and instances wherein he stated that Robinson had lied, citing instances as small as a phone call, office visit or passing informal greeting by Robinson to Zumbrun. While Zumbrun’s evidence never addressed actual police violations of state law, Zumbrun continued to press for the expulsion of Robinson of the General Assembly of Maryland to Governor J. Millard Tawes

Ed Norris

Former Commissioner Ed Norris was indicted on three charges by US Attorney Thomas DiBiagio.[when?] Two of the counts charged Norris had made illegal personal expenditures from the Baltimore Police Department’s supplemental account. The third count alleged that he had lied on a mortgage application, stating that approximately $9,000 he received from his father was not a gift—as was stated in the loan papers—but a loan. As part of a plea bargain in May 2004, Norris pleaded guilty to the first two counts and was sentenced to six months in federal prison, six months of home detention, and 500 hours of community service, which Judge Dick Bennett said must be served in Baltimore. The plea bargain avoided a possible 30-year sentence on the mortgage fraud charge.

Flex Squad scandal

A rash of high profile corruption and brutality allegations have surfaced in late 2005 and early 2006, including the suspensions and arrests of Southwestern District flex squad officers for the alleged rape of a 22 year old woman they had taken into custody for illegal possession of narcotics. All criminal charges against the accused officers have since been dropped.[38]

Stories surfaced about flex squad officers planting evidence on citizens. Murder charges were dropped by the city when it was revealed that a gunman was dropped off in rival gang territory after a police interrogation in a squad car. The man was beaten badly and exacted his revenge the next day. The squad’s role in the shooting prompted State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy to drop the charges.

Detectives Murray and King

William A. King and Antonio L. Murray are two former Baltimore Police Department officers sentenced to a total of 454 years in prison after an FBI investigation in 2005. The conviction of King and Murray came about due to the work of the Baltimore-based Stop Snitchin’ campaign, in which the two officers were identified on video as being involved in drug dealing.

Gerard Mungo

On March 17, 2007, police arrested 7-year-old Gerard Mungo while sitting in front of his house on a dirtbike. Though he was seated on the dirtbike at the time of the arrest, officers reported they saw him riding it earlier. Baltimore City local law prohibits the operation of vehicles with an engine capacity of less than 50cc inside the city limits. However, police ordinances passed by city council, Article 19 Section 40-6 states that any and all unregistered motor bikes, dirt bikes, scooters, or anything similar in nature is illegal in Baltimore City. Officers stated they were “following procedure” in making a physical arrest. The boy’s mother soon was arrested for disorderly conduct a few weeks later in an unrelated incident when she tried to bar plain clothes officers from entering her sister’s apartment in pursuit of a felony drug suspect.[39]

Salvatore Rivieri
Service branch – United States
Years of service – 1991 2010
Rank – Sworn in as an officer – 1991

Salvatore Rivieri was a Baltimore, Maryland, police officer who came to national attention in February 2008 following the release of two videos depicting separate incidents of him verbally assaulting and manhandling citizens.

The first video was posted to YouTube on February 9, 2008[40] and showed Officer Rivieri berating and manhandling a 14-year-old-boy, Eric Bush, who had been skateboarding in a tourist area of Inner Harbor where skateboarding is not permitted. In the video, Rivieri threatened to “smack [Bush] upside the head” if he continued to “back-talk.” Rivieri also said that someone would kill Bush if he did not learn “the meaning of respect.” After the video surfaced, Rivieri was suspended with pay while the Baltimore Police Department conducted an investigation.[41] The story made national headlines[42] and prompted another man to come forward with footage of an earlier confrontation with the officer.

On February 15, 2008, WMAR-TV (an ABC News affiliate in Baltimore) aired a second video involving Officer Rivieri, in which he confronted an artist from Washington, DC.[43]The artist, Billy Friebele, was making a film that depicted the reactions of passersby to a small box he was moving around a sidewalk with a remote controlled car. The footage shows Rivieri kicking the box and then the small car across the pavement before confronting Friebele.[44]

In the wake of the incidents in April 2008, the Baltimore Police Department made wholesale changes to the leadership of the unit patrolling the city’s Inner Harbor. A new lieutenant and sergeant took command of the 12 officers in charge of patrolling the area from the edge of Federal Hill to the Fallsway, near Pier 5. Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the police department, said: “Given the extreme nature of that incident, we thought it was important for the officers to brush up on their interpersonal skills.”[45]

The mother of the boy filed a suit against Rivieri in April 2008, two months after the video was widely circulated, seeking $6 million for assault, battery and violation of rights. The city sought to have the suit dismissed, because, among other things, such claims must be filed within 180 days of the incident; but the family’s attorney argued that the statute of limitations did not apply to a minor. On December 11, 2008, Baltimore Circuit Judge Marcus Z. Shar ruled that the lawsuit could proceed, despite being filed late.[46]

On September 14, 2009, Rivieri was granted a “motion for summary judgment to dismiss” by Circuit Judge Evelyn Cannon. William P. Blackford, the attorney for the Bush family, said of the judgment: “The family is incredibly disappointed, and feels wronged…they’ve had their day in court taken away.”[47]

In early 2009, the Baltimore Police Department cited death threats Rivieri received after the YouTube video surfaced as a reason for implementing a new policy of not disclosing the names of police officers who shoot or kill citizens.[48]

Rivieri was eventually cleared by an internal police panel of using excessive force and discourtesies, but convicted of administrative charges of failing to write a report. The panel recommended that he be suspended five days, but Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III disagreed and fired him.[49]

On February 28, 2011, the firing of Rivieri was upheld.[50]
There are a lot of people that think Officer Rivieri got a bum wrap, he was punished twice for the same offence, initially he was suspended, then he was punished and had vacation time taken away from him, he came back from that and worked for awhile before being called to the commissioners office where he was fired. How a person could be punished for the same thing so often is confusing to most, but there were a lot of confusing things that went on during that time, first the Mayor changed the pension system even taking away/cutting pensions that had already been earned and started. Then she started having the media attack police for everything they did or were suspected of doing, usually without good cause, and usually the officer was cleared in the end. But what she did was mixed the wrong with her accused so it was hard to tell the difference, and even the then the wrong were not major cases, they were minor offenses that she made look worse, some say to help sway the public to her side in that the police arn’t worth what they are paid. Let’s take a quick look at the cases, one was the Majestic Towing scandal, when that hit the news, you would have thought we had a Serpico cops on the take kind of case, what we had were police handling car accidents and auto break downs and referring the car owner to friends shop, the friend gave the officer a sort of finders fee for the business. How did that hurt the public, the vehicles did need service, did need towing etc. Nothing was stolen from the vehicles, prices weren’r inflated etc. So what did the police do, they did something that in my opinion should have cost them their jobs, without a doubt they should have been fired, but not so much because they deferred towing business from those contracted to ow in the city, more because they lied, they told dispatch the owner was making their own arrangements. Police have few weapons that will protect them in field, but one thing that have that they should never give up is their word, my word against yours, mine should always be best if I wear a badge, because I should never lie. let’s face it there should be no reason to lie, why would I care if someone I don’t know goes to jail or not. I this case what these officers did was to lie. they sold their honor. And for that they got what they deserved. But it wasn’t a murder, drug dealing, or stealing it wasn’t a huge scandal. S the mayor and her media had this look bad, then she had a Major that broke down on a rural hwy investigated to see why he left his car after it went off the rode, she made the public think he had been drinking, or at least that was the feed back i had gotten from those that called me, in the end it turned out it was a rural rode that wasn’t often traveled, but where he slid off the rode was a spot that a lot of cars and trucks went off at when it was wet/rainy as it was that day, a passer by saw the incident and offered to drive him to safety, he had left his office only 20 minute earlier and wasn’t drinking there. It made sense to get a ride out of there rather than sit in the car and maybe be hit be the next truck to come along, besides that there was no cell phone coverage in the area how long was he to sit there. he got a ride home, called the State Police and notified the department. he did everything eh should have done, and still had his good name dragged through the media. Another case a Major loan a gun to a business owner, was his personal gun and it is 100% legal to loan a gun to a friend, the gun was stolen during a burglary, and she had the news run it like he was a gun dealer, something honorable like loaning a friend that had been robbed a few times a gun for protection, being turned into a scandal is dirty politics. So when we read the mews about a dirty cop, lets stop to think about what it is they really did, and are they dirty or are we being played for political gain Don’t get us wrong, if we see an officer abuse their power we are quick to point the finger as most, but we will be sure to tell what it is that they really did, like the officer that shot the Pit-Bull, I’m not sure what the officer’s story is, so I can’t take sides, but I feel for the family of Kincaid and don’t know if that is the way it would ave been handled years ago, we used to check yards for animals before we entered, even in a chase Still I don’t know, when the rest comes out, we’ll know more.

Daniel G. Redd

On July 19, 2011, Officer Daniel G. Redd was arrested for drug trafficking. While on trial, Redd has admitted to being involved in the process to distribute heroin. Redd is believed to be the first Baltimore Police officer charged with drug trafficking since William King and Antonio Murray were charged with shaking down drug suspects and then selling the drugs themselves. Both those officers received life in federal prison.[citation needed] Redd was sentenced to twenty years in custody in September 2012. [51]

Majestic towing scandal

In May, 2012, Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld III directed a team that included agents from the FBI that used wiretaps and other techniques to break up a major corruption scandal centered around the Majestic Auto Body shop. The shop paid Baltimore police officers a fee when they called Majestic tow trucks to the scene of an accident. In all, 17 officers plead guilty to charges. At least another 37 officers were involved. [52]

In popular culture


The portrayals of Baltimore City in The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Street have received negative criticism from several notable Baltimore politicians, such as former mayor and current Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and former mayor Sheila Dixon. Both politicians have argued that the shows glorify the levels of violence within the city and give Baltimore a negative image.[54][55] In contrast, the police department has been relatively supportive of the shows, stating that the crime within the city has been accurately portrayed.[56] Several current and former members of the police force have served as technical advisers for the Baltimore based shows and some, such as former Major Gary D’Addario, have allegedly been either dismissed or forced to retire from the department for assisting the shows’ producers and directors.[57]

See also


Crime in Baltimore

List of law enforcement agencies in Maryland

A. F. James MacArthur


^ a b “The Baltimore Police Department Officer Down Memorial Page”. Officer Down foundation. http://www.odmp.org/agency/214-Baltimore-city-police-department-Maryland. Retrieved 2010-04-02.

^ “Sergeant William Jourdan – Officer Down Memorial Page”. Officer Down foundation. http://www.odmp.org/officer/7290-sergeant-william-jourdan. Retrieved 2008-04-02.

^ “George Workner – Officer Down Memorial Page”. Officer Down foundation. http://www.odmp.org/officer/17440-night-watchman-george-workner. Retrieved 2008-04-02.

^ Lewis, H. H. Walker (Summer 1966). “The Baltimore Police Case of 1860”. Maryland Law Review XXVI (3). http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/mllr26&;g_sent=1&collection=journals&id=223. Retrieved 7 August 2012. “In 1857 the police were reorganized on a more modern footing, but the new men who were recruited to build up the force were drawn largely from the Know Nothing gangs and remained subservient to their old leaders.”

^ “The State of Maryland Officer Down Memorial Page”. Officer Down foundation. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. http://www.odmp.org/browse.php?abbr=MD. Retrieved 2010-04-02.

^ “The Maryland State Police Officer Down Memorial Page”. Officer Down foundation. http://www.odmp.org/agency/2367-maryland-state-police-maryland. Retrieved 2010-04-02.

^ “Public cameras draw ire of privacy experts”. CNN. March 29, 1996. http://www-cgi.cnn.com/US/9603/public_places/. Retrieved 2009-05-15.

^ Simon, David (2006) [1991]. “One”. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (4th ed.). Owl Books. p. 85. ISBN 0-8050-8075-9. “….a predominantly Irish force.”

^ Baltimore firsts “Below is a time line of Baltimore events in which African Americans played an integral part!”. http://www.citypaper.com/bob/story.asp?id=10814.

^ a b Farrar, Hayward (1998) [1998]. The Baltimore Afro-American, 1892-1950: 1892-1950 (1st ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 113. ISBN 0-313-30517-X.

^ “The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc.”. http://www.odmp.org/officer/12374-police-officer-henry-smith-jr..

^ a b c d e Simon, David (2006) [1991]. “two”. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (4th ed.). Owl Books. p. 111. ISBN 0-8050-8075-9.

^ Simon, David (2006) [1991]. “two”. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (4th ed.). Owl Books. p. 111. ISBN 0-8050-8075-9. “”black officers were still prohibited from riding in radio cars-legally prohibited…. limited in rank, then quarantined on foot posts in the slums or used in the fledging narcotics unit. On the street, they endured the silence of white colleagues; in the station house they were insulted by racial remarks at roll calls and shift changes.””

^ “’68 The fire last time, part 3”. http://publicbroadcasting.net/wypr/news.newsmain?action=article&;ARTICLE_ID=1254081.

^ a b “Welcome to the official website of the Vanguard Justice Society, Inc.”. http://vjsinc.tripod.com/vjs_aboutus.html.

^ “EVER ON THE WATCH” THE HISTORY OF THE BALTIMORE POLICE DEPARTMENT by W.M.Hackley “Eastern District”. http://mysite.verizon.net/vzesdp09/baltimorepolicehistorybywmhackley2/id86.html.

^ Simon, David (2006) [1991]. “five”. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (4th ed.). Owl Books. p. 274. ISBN 0-8050-8075-9. “”The CID vice unit met with a similar fate, and in the tactical section, rumors were swirling about the ranking black officer on the force, Major James Watkins…””

^ “New Opportunity in Law Enforcement”. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0colAAAAIBAJ&;sjid=KfUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4329,314713&dq=baltimore+bishop-robinson&hl=en.

^ a b WJZ News Online “Baltimore Renames City Police Headquarters”. http://wjz.com/topstories/local_story_073173236.html.

^ Simon, David (2006) [1991]. “One”. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (4th ed.). Owl Books. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-8050-8075-9. “the mayor acknowledged the city’s changing demographics by dragging Battaglia into a well paid consultant position and giving the black community a firm lock on the upper tiers of the police department.”

^ Simon, David (2006) [1991]. “One”. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (4th ed.). Owl Books. p. 39. ISBN 0-8050-8075-9. “D’Addario is one of the last survivors of the Italian caliphate that briefly ruled the department after a long Irish dynasty….. But the Holy Roman Empire lasted less than four years.”

^ Baltimore Sun “For police, more change at the top”. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/baltimore_city/bal-md.ci.police24jul24,0,3976185.story.

^ “Black police officers claim discrimination within Baltimore department”. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002111604_webbaltimore07.[dead link], The Seattle Times (December 7, 2006)

^ Simon, David (1997) [1997]. “three”. The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood (1st ed.). Broadway Books. pp. 165–166. ISBN 0-7679-0030-8.

^ http://www.baltimorepolice.org/join-the-team/become-an-officer/promotional-opportunities

^ Organizational Chart

^ Nightstick Joe is back in business, The Baltimore Sun, September 23, 2000.

^ Federal Writers’ Project, Maryland:A Guide to the Old Line State, p. 204, US History Publishers, ISBN 1-60354-019-9.

^ http://wjz.com/topstories/Antonio.Murray.William.2.421587.html

^ http://www.wbaltv.com/news/9229472/detail.html

^ Topic Galleries – baltimoresun.com

^ [1]

^ a b Ernest B Furgurson, “Robinson States Case on Hepbron: Hearings to Begin February 19,” The Sun, February 11, 1959. Proquest Historical Newspapers The Baltimore Sun (1837-1985) pg. 38.

^ Ernest B Furgurson, “Robinson Specifications Against Hepbron Submitted,” The Sun, February 10, 1959. Proquest Historical Newspapers The Baltimore Sun (1837-1985) pg. 40.

^ a b “Full Text of Charges,” The Sun, February 11, 1959. Proquest Historical Newspapers The Baltimore Sun (1837-1985) pg. 38.

^ Odell M Smith, “Robinson Urges Hepbron to Quit” The Sun, March 12, 1957. Proquest Historical Newspapers The Baltimore Sun (1837-1985) pg. 38.

^ “Zumbrun Gives Answers To Charges by Robinson” The Sun, March 30, 1959. Proquest Historical Newspapers The Baltimore Sun (1837-1985) pg. 28.

^ “Officer convicted on gun charge: Ex-flex squad member, cleared earlier in rape cases, also found guilty of eluding police.”. Baltimore Sun. 18-MAY-07. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/comsite5/bin/aml_landing_tt.pl?purchase_type=ITM&;item_id=0286-30794082&action=print&page=aml_article_print. Retrieved 2009-05-15.[dead link]

^ The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Police Arrest 7-Year-Old — Including Fingerprints & Mug Shot

^ camb0i (cameraman), Eric Bush (subject), Salvatore Rivieri (subject) (9 February 2008). Baltimore cops V.S. skateboarder (camphone recording). Baltimore: camb0i. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GgWrV8TcUc.

^ “Baltimore Officer Suspended After Video Surfaces of Him Berating Skateboarder”. Fox News. February 12, 2008. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,330501,00.html.

^ ABC News: Good Morning America “Officer Suspended After Skateboarder Rant” Feb. 13, 2008

^ Emery, Chris (16 February 2008). “Strife with police is old – Clash with authority familiar to skaters”. baltimoresun.com. The Baltimore Sun. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2008-02-16/news/0802160296_1_skateboarding-youtube-video. Retrieved 8 February 2012.

^ Billy Friebele (cameraman), Salvatore Rivieri (subject) (15 February 2008). Skateboard-Hating Baltimore Cop Kicks Street Artist’s Moving Box. Baltimore: WMAR-TV ABC News. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=867_1203133697.

^ Linskey, Annie (23 April 2008). “Police shift Inner Harbor patrol command”. baltimoresun.com. The Baltimore Sun. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2008-04-23/news/0804230135_1_skateboarder. Retrieved 9 February 2012.

^ Fenton, Justin (11 December 2008). “Judge lets skateboarder lawsuit go ahead”. baltimoresun.com. The Baltimore Sun. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2008-12-11/news/0812110003_1_deer-hunters-county-police-milford-mill. Retrieved 8 February 2012.

^ Augenstein, Neal (22 September 2009). “Skateboarder’s suit against Baltimore cop tossed”. wtop.com. WTOP 103.5 FM. http://www.wtop.com/?nid=&;sid=1768338. Retrieved 9 February 2012.

^ Fenton, Justin (7 January 2009). “In policy change, city police will not identify officers who kill, injure”. baltimoresun.com. The Baltimore Sun. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-01-07/news/0901060139_1_police-department-baltimore-police-community-and-police. Retrieved 9 February 2012.

^ Hermann, Peter (25 August 2010). “Baltimore cop who berated skateboarder fired”. baltimoresun.com. The Baltimore Sun. http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/blog/2010/08/baltimore_cop_who_berated_skat.html. Retrieved 9 February 2012.

^ “Officer Salvatore Rivieri’s Firing Upheld”. wbaltv.com. Hearst Stations Inc.. 28 February 2011. http://www.wbaltv.com/r/27022220/detail.html. Retrieved 9 February 2012.

^ BPD Officer Sentenced in Drug Case, by WMAR staff, 19 September 2012

^ Baltimore Police Corruption Case Tests Commissioner, by Theo Emery, New York Times, 9 May 2012

^ http://www.wildestdreamsmovie.com/

^ [2]

^ [3]

^ “One on One with Robert Wisdom”. http://www.hobotrashcan.com/2006/09/21/one-on-one-with-robert-wisdom/., HBO Trash Can (September, 2006)

^ “3rd Exclusive David Simon Q&A”. http://members.aol.com/TheWireHBO/exclusive4-6.html., The Wire HBO (December 4, 2006)


External links

Baltimore Police website

Baltimore Police history

Baltimore City Police History This site has a history all its own, originally made by Ret. Police Officer Bill Hackley, When Bill Hackley passed away in March 2012 the site was rebuilt and is being maintained by Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll

Organizational chart

CitiStat website

William and King article from The Baltimore Sun

Local Police Departments 2000 survey from the U.S. Department of Justice

Top 50 U.S. cities by population from Infoplease.com

List of Baltimore Police Officers killed in the line of duty from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

FOP Lodge 3 site

Folsom, de Francias. Our Police: A History of the Baltimore Force from the First Watchman to the Latest Appointee (1888). Provides a detailed (532 pages + roster of officers) contemporary account of the police force in nineteenth-century Baltimore.

Melton, Tracy Matthew. Hanging Henry Gambrill: The Violent Career of Baltimore’s Plug Uglies, 1854-1860 (2005). Describes how the response to deadly gang violence led to the development of a professional police force in Baltimore during the 1850s.
Baltimore riot of 1861 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Baltimore riot of 1861 (also called the Pratt Street Riot and the Pratt Street Massacre)
was a conflict that took place on April 19, 1861, in Baltimore, Maryland between Confederate sympathizers and members of the Massachusetts militia en route to Washington for Federal service. It is regarded by
historians as the first bloodshed of the American Civil War.

Massachusetts Militia Passing Through Baltimore, an 1861 engraving of the Baltimore riot

Many Baltimoreans sympathized passionately with the Southern cause. Abraham Lincoln received only 1,100 of more than 30,000 votes cast for president in 1860. Lincoln’s opponents were infuriated (and supporters disappointed) when the president-elect, fearing an assassination plot, traveled secretly through the city in February en route to his inauguration. The city was also home to the country’s largest population (25,000) of free African Americans, as well as many white abolitionists and supporters of the Union. As the war began, the city’s divided loyalties created tension. Supporters of secession and slavery organized themselves into a force called “National Volunteers”, while unionists and abolitionists called themselves “Minute Men”.
The American Civil War began on April 12, one week prior to the riot, with the battle of Fort Sumter. At the time, the slave states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, andArkansas had not yet seceded from the U.S. The status of Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky (later known as “border states”), remained unknown. When Fort Sumter fell (without casualties) on April 13, the Virginia legislature took up a measure on secession. The measure passed on April 17 with little debate. Virginia’s secession was particularly significant due to the state’s industrial capacity. Sympathetic Marylanders, who had been supportive of secession ever since John C. Calhoun spoke of “nullification”, agitated to join Virginia in leaving the Union. Their discontent increased in the days afterward when Lincoln put out a call for volunteers to serve 90 days and end the insurrection.
Newly formed units were starting to transport themselves south, particularly to protect Washington, D.C. from the new Confederate threat in Virginia. Baltimore Mayor George Brown and Police Chief George Kane anticipate trouble and began efforts to placate the city’s population.

On April 18, 460 newly mustered Pennsylvania volunteers arrived from the Northern Central Railway at the Bolton Street Station. Seven hundred National Volunteers rallied at the Washington Monument and traveled to the station to confront the troops. Kane’s police force generally succeeded in ensuring the troops’ safe passage to Camden Station. Nevertheless, stones and bricks were hurled (along with many insults) and Nicholas Biddle, a Black servant traveling with the regiment, was hit on the head.

Union route through Baltimore, as later depicted by Mayor George Brown
On April 19, the Union’s Sixth Massachusetts Regiment was traveling south to Washington, D.C. through Baltimore. Due to an ordinance preventing rail lines through the city, there was no direct rail connection between the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad’sPresident Street Station and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Camden Station (ten blocks to the west). Rail cars that transferred between the two stations had to be pulled by horses along Pratt Street.
As the regiment transferred between stations, a mob of secessionists and Southern sympathizers attacked the train cars and blocked the route. When it became apparent that they could travel by horse no further, the troops got out of the cars and marched in formation through the city. However, the mob followed the soldiers, breaking store windows and causing damage until they finally blocked the soldiers. The mob attacked the rear companies of the regiment with “bricks, paving stones, and pistols.” In response, several soldiers fired into the mob, beginning a giant brawl began between the soldiers, the mob, and the Baltimore police. In the end, the soldiers got to the Camden Station, and the police were able to block the crowd from them. The regiment had left behind much of their equipment, including their marching band’s instruments.
Four soldiers (Corporal Sumner Needham of Co I and Privates Luther C. Ladd, Charles Taylor, and Addison Whitney of Company D) and twelve civilians were killed in the riot. About 36 of the regiment were also wounded and left behind. It is unknown how many additional civilians were injured. Sumner Henry Needham is sometimes considered to be the first Union casualty of the war, though he was killed by civilians in a Union state. Needham is buried in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Ladd and Whitney are buried in Lowell, Massachusetts. Taylor was buried in Baltimore; though his grave was lost, his name appears on the Lowell Monument.

The same day, after the attack on the soldiers, the office of the Baltimore Wecker, a German-language newspaper, was completely wrecked and the building seriously damaged by the same mob. The publisher, William Schnauffer, and the editor, Wilhelm Rapp, whose lives were threatened, were compelled to leave town. The publisher later returned and resumed publication of the Wecker which continued throughout the war a firm supporter of the Union cause. The editor moved to another paper in Illinois.
As a result of the riot in Baltimore and pro-Southern sympathies of much of the city’s populace, the Baltimore Steam Packet Company also declined the same day a Federal government request to transport Union forces to relieve the beleaguered Union naval yard facility at Portsmouth, Virginia.
In Brown’s later assessment, it was the Baltimore riot that pushed the two sides over the edge into full-scale war, “because then was shed the first blood in a conflict between the North and the South; then a step was taken which made compromise or retreat almost impossible; then passions on both sides were aroused which could not be controlled”.
On July 10, 1861, a Grand Jury of the United States District Court indicted Samuel Mactier, Lewis Bitter, James McCartney, Philip Casmire, Michael Hooper and Richard H. Mitchell for their part in the riot.
After the April 19 riot, some small skirmishes occurred throughout Baltimore between citizens and police for the next month, but a sense of normalcy returned as the city was cleaned up. Mayor Brown and Maryland Governor Hicks implored President Lincoln to send no further troops through Maryland to avoid further confrontations. However, as Lincoln remarked to a peace delegation from the Young Men’s Christian Association, Union soldiers were neither birds to fly over Maryland, nor moles to burrow under it. On the evening of April 20 Hicks also authorized Brown to dispatch the Maryland state militia for the purpose of disabling the railroad bridges into the city—an act he would later deny. One of the militia captains was John Merryman, who was arrested one month later, and held in defiance of a writ of habeas corpus, which led to the case of Ex parte Merryman.
On April 19, Major General Robert Patterson, commander of the Department of Washington (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia), ordered Brigadier General Benjamin Franklin Butler, with the 8th Massachusetts, to open and secure a route from Annapolis through Annapolis Junction to Washington. The 8th Massachusetts arrived by ship at Annapolis on April 20. Gov. Hicks and the Mayor of Annapolis protested, but Butler (a clever politician) bullied them into allowing troops to land at Annapolis, saying, “‘I must land, for my troops are hungry.’—’No one in Annapolis will sell them anything,’ replied these authorities of the State and city. Butler intimated that armed men were not always limited to the necessity of purchasing food when famishing.”
The 8th Massachusetts, with the 7th New York, proceeded to Annapolis Junction (halfway between Baltimore and Washington), and the 7th New York went on to Washington, where, on the afternoon of April 25, they became the first troops to reach the capital by this route.
There were calls for Maryland to declare secession in the wake of the riot. Governor Hicks called a special session of the state legislature to consider the situation. Since Annapolis, the capital, was occupied by Federal troops, and Baltimore was harboring many pro-Confederate mobs, Hicks directed the legislature to meet in Frederick, in the predominantly Unionist western part of the state. The legislature met on April 26; on April 29, it voted 53–13 against secession.
Many more Union troops arrived. On May 13, Butler sent Union troops into Baltimore and declared martial law. He was replaced as commander of the Department of Annapolis byGeorge Cadwalader, another Brigadier General in the United States Volunteers.
A man supposed to be a Maryland State Militia soldier was detained in Ft. McHenry, and Judge Giles, in Baltimore, issued a writ of habeas corpus, but Major W. W. Morris, commander of the fort, wrote back, “At the date of issuing your writ, and for two weeks previous, the city which you live, and where your court has been held, was entirely under the control of revolutionary authorities. Within that period United States soldiers, while committing no offense, had been perfidiously attacked and inumanly murdered in your streets; no punishment had been awarded, and, I believe, no arrests had been made for these crimes; supplies of provisions intended for this garrison has been stopped; the intention to capture this fort had been boldly proclaimed; your most public thoroughfares were daily patrolled by large numbers of troops, armed and clothed, at least in part, with articles stolen from the United States; and the Federal flag, while waving over the Federal offices, was cut down by some person wearing the uniform of a Maryland soldier. To add the foregoing, an assembly elected in defiance of law, but claiming to be the legislative body of your State, and so recognized by the Executive of Maryland, was debating the Federal compact. If all this be not rebellion, I know not what to call it. I certainly regard it as sufficient legal cause for suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.” Moreover, Morris wrote, “If, in an experience of thirty-three years, you have never before known the writ to be disobeyed, it is only because such a contingency in political affairs as the present has never before arisen.”
Just before daybreak on June 27, soldiers marched from Ft. McHenry on orders from Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, who had succeeded Cadwalader as commander of the Department of Annapolis, and arrested Marshal George P. Kane. Banks appointed Colonel John Reese Kenly of the 1st Regiment Maryland Volunteer Infantry as provost marshal to superintend the Baltimore police; Kenly enrolled, organized, and armed 250 Unionists for a new police. When the old Board of Police would not recognize the new police, and tried to continue the old police, they were arrested and sent to Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. On July 10, George R. Dodge, a civilian, was appointed as marshal of police.
Major General John Adams Dix suceeeded Banks in command of the Department of Annapolis, and Colonel Abram Duryée’s 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, “Duryée’s Zouaves,” constructed Fort Federal Hill, Baltimore.
The legislature’s special session at Frederick continued for several weeks. Secession resolutions were submitted, but rejected in part because it was believed that the legislature did not have the power to declare secession. The legislature adjourned on August 7, planning to reconvene on September 17. However, on that day several pro-secession members were arrested by Federal troops and Baltimore police officers, and the session was canceled.
Some Southerners reacted with passion to the incident. James Ryder Randall, a teacher in Louisiana but a native Marylander who had lost a friend in the riots, wrote “Maryland, My Maryland” for the Southern cause in response to the riots. The poem was later set to “Lauriger Horatius”, the tune of O Tannenbaum, a melody popular in the South, and referred to the riots with lines such as “Avenge the patriotic gore / That flecked the streets of Baltimore.” It was not until seventy-eight years later that it became Maryland’s state song; there have been efforts to remove it since.
Delaware was occupied by Union troops because of its proximity to (and to prevent a repeat of the events that took place in) Maryland.[citation needed] Kentucky declared itsneutrality (although it would eventually join the Union’s side), and although Missouri was on the Union side, a Confederate government-in-exile existed in Arkansas and Texas.[citation needed]
Baltimore Plot
Henry Stump
^ Vogler, Mark E. (April 18, 2009). “Civil War Guard on duty in Baltimore to save President Street Station”. eagletribune.com. Eagle Tribune. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
^ “Baltimore: A House Divided & War on the Chesapeake Bay”. CivilWarTraveler.com. January 13, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2012.^ Ezratty, Baltimore in the Civil War (2010), p. 31.
^ Ezratty, Baltimore in the Civil War (2010), p. 31. “Baltimore’s citizens were politically and emotionally divided between pro- and anti-South and slavery. There were clashes as passions ran high about these issues and the right of a state to secede from the Union.”
^ a b Gary L. Browne, “Baltimore Riot (19 April 1861)”, Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, ed. David Stephen Heidler, Jeanne T. Heidler, David J. Coles; New York: Norton, 2000, p. 173; ISBN: 9780393047585.
^ Ezratty, Baltimore in the Civil War (2010), pp. 43–45.
^ Catton, Bruce (January 1, 1961). The Coming Fury. Doubleday & Company, Inc.. pp. 340–341. ISBN 0-671-43414-4.
^ Ezratty, Baltimore in the Civil War (2010), p. 45.
^ The first connection was created with the opening of the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel in 1873.
^ Ezratty, Baltimore in the Civil War (2010), p. 47. “…the thirty-year-old ordinance forbidding the operation of steam engines in the city obliged the Union troops on both the eighteenth and nineteenth to transfer from their terminating depots on their way to Camden Station, where trains to Washington awaited them. The forced transfer made the soldiers of the Sixth Massachusetts vulnerable as, unlike the Pennsylvanians a day earlier, they had to stop and wait while horsecars hitched up and then rolled over Pratt Street’s rails to Camden Station.”
^ James M. McPherson (1988). Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. Oxford University Press. p. 40. ISBN 0-19-516895-X.
^ Phillip Fazzini. “Luther C. Ladd”. Photos from the Past. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Archived from the original on February 10 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
^ a b Phillip Fazzini (October 23, 2009). “Charles A. Taylor (1836–1861)”. Find A Grave Memorial# 43430939. Find A Grave. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
^ James Ford Rhodes (1917). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. The Macmillan Company, New York. p. 19.
^ Eric Thomsen (July 25, 2003). “Corp Sumner H. Needham”. Find A Grave Memorial# 7708886. Find A Grave.
^ Eric Thomsen (July 12, 2003). “The Ladd and Whitney Monument”. Find A Grave. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
^ J. Thomas Scharf (1874). The chronicles of Baltimore. Turnbull Brothers, Baltimore. p. 104.
^ Albert B. Faust (1963). “Rapp, Wilhelm”. Dictionary of American Biography. VIII, Part 1. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. pp. 384–385.
^ Alexander Crosby Brown (1961). Steam Packets on the Chesapeake. Cambridge, Maryland: Cornell Maritime Press. pp. 48–50. LCCN 61012580.
^ Brown, Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861 (1887), p. 10
^ The New York Times. “The Baltimore Treason.; The Indictment Against John Merryman.” July 12, 1861.
^ Benson John Lossing (1866/1997), Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War, reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, Vol. I, Chap. XVII, “Events in or near the National Capital”, pp. 419–420.
^ Benson John Lossing (1866/1997), Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War, reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, Vol. I, Chap. XVIII, “The Capital Secured—Maryland Secessionists Subdued—Contributions by the People”, pp. 434–436, [italics in reprint].
^ Benson John Lossing (1866/1997), Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War, reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, Vol. I, Chap. XVIII, “The Capital Secured—Maryland Secessionists Subdued—Contributions by the People”, pp. 439–440.
^ Benson John Lossing (1866/1997), Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War, reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, Vol. I, Chap. XVIII, “The Capital Secured—Maryland Secessionists Subdued—Contributions by the People”, pp. 449–450, [italics in reprint].
^ Benson John Lossing (1866/1997), Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War, reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, Chap. XXIII, “The War in Missouri—Doings of the Confederate ‘Congress’—Affairs in Baltimore—Piracies”, pp. 551–553.
^ Benson John Lossing (1866/1997), Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War, reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, Vol. I, Chap. XXIII, “War in Missouri—Doings of the Confederate ‘Congress’—Affairs in Baltimore—Piracies”, pp. 553–554.
^ “The General Assembly Moves to Frederick, 1861”. Maryland State Archives. 1998.Archived from the original on December 05 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
^ “Teaching American History in Maryland – Documents for the Classroom: Arrest of the Maryland Legislature, 1861”. Maryland State Archives. 2005. Archived from the original on January 11 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
^ Phair, Monty. “A Brief History of Randallstown”. Baltimore County Public Libraries. Retrieved July 27, 2009.^ Maryland State Archives (2004). Maryland State Song – “Maryland, My Maryland”. Retrieved 27 Dec. 2004.
Baltimore Mob Riots, Attacks Union Troops

Submitted by tonyp on Thu, 04/19/2012 – 08:32

The first combat deaths of the Civil War actually occurred in a federal city between Union troops and civilians, when the Baltimore Riot of April 19, 1861, killed four soldiers and twelve civilians, with dozens more wounded. The troops were marching through Baltimore to board a train for passage to Washington, D.C., when a pro-Southern mob gathered to obstruct them. Taunts rang out and bricks and stones were hurled at the troops. Then the crowd fired some shots. When one soldier fell dead the troops returned fire, and the bloody riot became a running gunfight for ten blocks as the troops rushed to their awaiting train.
The Baltimore Riot was a manifestation of the tension gripping America in the spring of 1861. Violence had been looming ever since South Carolina seceded from the Union on Dec. 20, 1860. By February of 1861 seven states had seceded and formed their own country: the Confederate States of America. Diplomacy failed and the Civil War began with the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Following that attack President Lincoln on April 15 issued a call for 75,000 volunteers to serve for 90 days to put down the rebellion, in response to which four more Southern states joined the Confederacy.
There was strong pro-Southern sentiment in Maryland, one of the nation’s 15 slave states, and many agitators in Maryland watched closely to see what their neighboring slave state, Virginia, would do. Virginia was the first of the four additional states that joined the Confederacy, when it seceded on April 17 (soon followed by Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina). Virginia’s decision emboldened the pro-secession movement in Maryland, especially in the city of Baltimore, and there were loud calls for Maryland to secede as well. Meanwhile, Washington, D.C. was hurriedly preparing its defenses and troops were rushing to defend the capital. That is where Baltimore became the key, as a railroad hub for Northern troops heading south to Washington, D.C. The day after Virginia seceded, 460 Pennsylvania volunteers passed through Baltimore on April 18, surprising the city’s Southern sympathizers. They began to organize and vowed they would not be caught unprepared the next time.
That next time came the very next day, April 19, 1861, and caused the Baltimore Riot. This time the Union volunteers were from Massachusetts, 720 troops of the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. A peculiar Baltimore ordinance made the troops vulnerable by preventing their train from steaming straight through the city. Not wanting such heavy train traffic, the city ordinance called for all passing trains to stop at the President Street Station, have the railroad cars slowly pulled along the tracks by horses, then hooked back up to steam locomotives at the Camden Station ten blocks west to continue their journey. It was while the nervous troops, packed into their railroad cars, were being pulled by horses those ten blocks along Pratt Street that the crowd attacked.
Six of the railroad cars made it through before the crowd blocked off the track and the horses could go no farther. The remaining men, around 250, had to get out and march to Camden Station. The howling mob descended upon them, and the riot quickly turned into a bloody battle. A local paper had a reporter on the scene, and printed a detailed account of the soldiers’ desperate dash (it was no orderly march) to rejoin their comrades, get onto trains hooked up to steam engines, and get out of town alive. This article was published by the Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) on the front page of its April 20, 1861, issue:

The Riot

Eight of the cars started from the President street depot and six passed safely to the Camden station. The other two soon returned, the track in the meantime having been obstructed at the corner of Pratt and Gay streets by anchors, paving stones, sand, &c., being put on it by the crowd. Attempts had previously been made to tear up the track, but the police by strenuous effort prevented [this]. A cart load of sand which was being driven along was seized and thrown upon the track.

The bridge across Jones’ Falls on Pratt street was also soon after barricaded with boards, &c., which were being used previously by workmen in repairing it.

After considerable delay it was determined to make the attempt to march the remaining troops through the city, only about sixty of whom were supplied with arms. The remainder were recruits, and occupied second-class and baggage cars.

At the head of this column, on foot, Mayor Brown placed himself, and walked in front, exerting all his influence to preserve peace.

Just before the movement was made from the cars, a large crowd of persons went down President street with a Southern flag and met the troops as they emerged from the cars. The Southern flag was then carried in front of the column, and hooting and yelling began, and as soon as the troops turned out of Canton avenue they were greeted with a volley of stones.

At the corner of Fawn street two of the soldiers were struck with stones and knocked down; one of them was taken by the police to the drugstore of T. J. Pitt, at the corner of Pratt and High streets, and the other to the eastern police station.

The yelling continued and the stones flew thick and fast. At Pratt street bridge a gun was fired, said by policeman No. 71 to have been fired from the ranks of the soldiers.

Then the crowd pressed stronger, until the body reached the corner of Gay street, where the troops presented arms and fired. Several persons fell on the first round, and the crowd became furious. A number of revolvers were used, and their shots took effect in the ranks.

People then ran in every direction in search of arms, but the armories of the military companies of the city were closely guarded and none could be obtained. The firing continued from Frederick street to South street in quick succession but how many fell cannot now be ascertained.

Among those wounded was a young man named Francis X. Ward, who resides at corner of Baltimore and Aisquith streets. He was shot in the groin, but the wound is not thought to be mortal.

A young man named James Clark, formerly connected with No. 1 Hook and Ladder Company, was shot through the head, and instantly killed.

James Myers, residing on Fayette street, was shot in the right side of the back, near the spine, and the ball, a Minnie, passed through him, and lodged among the false ribs. He was mortally wounded. John McCann, of No. 2 North Bond street, was mortally wounded.

A man named Flannery, residing on Frederick street, near Pratt, was mortally wounded, and died shortly after.

___ Carr, residing at the corner of Exeter and Bank streets, was wounded by a musket ball in the knee. The wound is severe.

John Staub, clerk with Tucker & Smith, on Charles street, [was] shot in the forefinger of the right hand.

A young man named Malony was shot on Pratt street, near Gay, and died at the central police station.

James Keenan was wounded by having a Minnie ball pass through his body. He was one of the stranger soldiers. His wound was supposed to be mortal. He was taken to the office of Dr. Hintze, where he received surgical attendance, and was then taken to the Protestant Infirmary.

At the police station, an old man, who did not give his name, was badly wounded.

How many were wounded it was impossible to ascertain, as many of the soldiers who left on the cars were known to have been injured.

Kirk Hatch, of Philadelphia, was wounded on the head by a blow from a stone or bludgeon. He was severely injured.

___ Conner, of Baltimore, was also wounded on the head with a stone, and was taken to his residence on Bond street.

At the central police station two soldiers were taken in dead, as also two citizens. Three soldiers and one citizen were taken to the same place wounded. The crowd passed on up Pratt street, and near Light street there was another volley fired.

At Light street wharf a boy named William Reed, a hand on board the oyster sloop “Wild Pigeon,” of York county, Va., received a ball through the abdomen, and was dying, at last accounts, in the hold of the schooner.

Another boy, Patrick Griffin, employed at the Green House, Pratt st., was shot through the bowels while looking from the door.

A frenzied crowd returned the fire from revolvers, and with bricks. Andrew Robbins, a member of a volunteer company from Stonington, Conn., was shot in the back of the head, and fell from the ranks. He was taken into the drugstore of Jesse S. Hunt’s, corner of Pratt and Charles sts. His wound is dangerous.

Another soldier, S. H. Needham, a member of the Massachusetts regiment, was struck by a brick and knocked insensible from the ranks. He was taken into the bookstore of T. N. Kurtz, 181 Pratt street. He subsequently died. Prof. J. W. R. Dunbar was very active in rendering assistance to the wounded, as were also other physicians.

The Firing on the Citizens at Howard and Dover Streets

At the corner of Howard and Dover streets one of the marching companies was pressed upon, when the troops in one of the cars fired a volley into the citizens. The balls struck in the brick walls of the dwelling, dashing out pieces of brick, and making large holes in the walls. The fire was returned from several points with guns and revolvers, and with bricks by the crowd. Several soldiers were wounded here, but it is thought no citizens were struck by the bullets of the soldiers. The faces of many of the soldiers, as seen through the car windows, were streaming with blood from cuts received from the shattered glass of car windows, and from the missiles hurled into them. Several wounded, supposed to have been shot in their passage along Pratt street, were taken out of the car in a bleeding and fainting condition at the Camden station, and transferred to the other cars.

From Gay to South street, on Pratt, the fight with the soldiers who marched, or rather ran through town, was terrific. Large paving stones were hurled into the ranks from every direction, the negroes who were about the wharf, in many instances, joining in the assault. At Gay street the soldiers fired a number of shots, though without hitting anyone, so far as could be ascertained. After firing this volley the soldiers again broke into a run, but another shower of stones being hurled into the ranks at Commerce street with such force as to knock several of them down, the order was given to another portion of them to halt and fire, which had to be repeated before they could be brought to a halt. They then wheeled and fired some twenty shots, but from their stooping and dodging to avoid the stones, but four or five shots took effect, the marks of a greater portion of their balls being visible on the walls of the adjacent warehouses, even up to the second stories. Here four citizens fell, two of whom died in a few moments; and the other two were carried off, supposed to be mortally wounded.

As one of the soldiers fired he was struck with a stone and knocked down, and as he attempted to arise another stone struck him in the face, when he crawled into a store, and prostrating himself on the floor, clasped his hands and begged piteously for his life, saying that he was threatened with instant death by his officers if he refused to accompany them. He said one-half of them had been forced to come in the same manner, and he hoped all who forced others to come might be killed before they got through the city. He pleaded so hard that no further vengeance was bestowed upon him, and he was taken to the police station to have his wounds dressed. As soon as they had fired at this point they again wheeled and started off in a full run, when some three or four parties issued from the warehouses there and fired into them, which brought down three more soldiers, one of whom was carried into the same store with the one above alluded to, and died in a few moments. The others succeeded in regaining their feet, and proceeded on with their comrades, the whole running as fast as they could, and a running fire was kept up by the soldiers from this point to the depot, the crowd continuing to hurl stones into the ranks throughout the whole line of march.


The Troops Reach the Camden Railroad Station

As early as nine o’clock throngs collected about the Camden Station in anticipation of the arrival of the troops from the President street depot. The throngs gradually augmented until about 10½ o’clock, when a large body of police appeared, and the mass took it for granted that the troops were coming. Meanwhile the assembly kept itself informed on events at the lower depot by several young men on horseback, who rode rapidly forward and back between the depots. The Mayor of the city and the Board of Police Commissioners did their utmost to pacify the crowd, as well as did other prominent citizens. Finally crowds, rushing pell-mell from the lower streets towards the depot, gave notice that the cars were coming, and they arrived one after another, drawn by four horses. The blinds of most of the cars were shut down, and in those not provided with blinds the troops laid down flat to avoid the bricks thrown at them. The car windows were perfectly riddled, and their sides bore great indentations from the rocks and bricks hurled at them.

The scene while the troops were changing cars was indescribably fearful. Taunts, clothed in the most fearful language, were hurled at them by the panting crowd, who, almost breathless with running, pressed up to the car windows, presenting knives and revolvers, and cursed up into the faces of the soldiers. The police were thrown in between the cars, and forming a barrier, the troops changed cars, many of them cocking their muskets as they stepped on the platform.

After embarking the assemblage expected to see the train move off, but its departure was evidently delayed in the vain hope that the crowd would disperse; but no, it swelled, and the troops expressed to the officers of the road their determination to go at once, or they would leave the cars and make their way to Washington.

While the delay was increasing the excitement, a wild cry was raised on the platform, and a dense crowd ran down the platform and out the railroad track towards the Spring Gardens, until the track for a mile was black with an excited, rushing mass. The crowd, as it went, placed obstructions of every description on the track. Great logs and telegraph poles, requiring a dozen or more men to move them, were laid across the rails, and stones rolled from the embankment.

A body of police followed after the crowd, both in a full run, and removed the obstructions as fast as they were placed on the track. Various attempts were made to tear up the track with logs of wood and pieces of timber, and there was a great outcry for pickaxes and handspikes, but only one or two could be found. The police interfered on every occasion, but the crowd, growing large and more excited, would dash off into a breakneck run for another position further on, until the county line was reached. The police followed, running, until forced to stop from exhaustion. At this point many of the throng gave it up from exhaustion, but a crowd, longer winded, dashed on for nearly a mile further, now and then pausing to attempt to force the rails, or place some obstruction upon them. They could be distinctly seen for a mile along the track where it makes a bend at the Washington road bridge. When the train went out the mass of people had mostly returned to the depot. Shots and stones were exchanged between the military and citizens at several points, with the result detailed elsewhere.


Correspondence, Etc.

The following is the correspondence of the authorities with the railroad officials and President Lincoln, on the subject of stopping the passage of troops:

Mayor’s Office, City Hall, Baltimore, April 19, 1861.
John W. Garrett, Esq., President Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

Sir: We advise that the troops now here be sent back to the borders of Maryland. Respectfully,

(Signed) Thomas H. Hicks, Geo. Wm. Brown.
By order of the Board of Police.
(Signed) Chas. Howard, Prest.

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, President’s Office, Balto., April 19.
To His Excellency, Tho. H. Hicks, Governor; His Hon. G. W. Brown, Mayor of Baltimore; Chs. Howard, Esq., President Board of Police Commissioners.

Gentlemen: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, in which you advise that the troops now here be sent back to the “borders of Maryland.” Most cordially approving this advice, I have instantly telegraphed the same to the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad Company, and this company will act in accordance therewith. Your obed’t servant,

(Signed) J. W. Garrett, President.

Mayor’s Office, Baltimore, April 19, 1861.
To His Excellency the President of the United States. Sir: A collision between the citizens and the Northern troops has taken place in Baltimore, and the excitement is fearful. Send no troops here. We will endeavor to prevent all bloodshed. A public meeting of citizens has been called, and the troops of the State and the city have been called out to preserve the peace. They will be enough. (Signed) Tho. H. Hicks, Geo. Wm. Brown, Mayor. We are advised that Wm. Prescott Smith, Esq., besides sending the foregoing by telegraph, sent a special engine, ahead of all trains, down to Washington, so that there might be no doubt of Mr. Lincoln’s receiving it at the earliest moment. The Baltimore directors of the Northern Central Railroad, who constitute only a minority of the board, held a meeting last evening and made a formal protest against the conveyance of any more troops from the North over the road. The Baltimore and Ohio Company sent an official communication to the Northern Central Company informing them that they would pass no more troops to Washington that should reach the city by that route. A dispatch was received from Mr. Felton, president of the Philadelphia road, in response to the recommendations from here, saying that he would send no more troops over his road at present, and requesting the officers in this city to confer with proper parties on the subject.


The Order to the Military

The following order was, at 2:00 P.M. yesterday, sent to us for publication in The Sun, and as the earliest mode of presenting it to the public, was included in the contents of The Sun Extra:

Division Orders, First Light Division, Md. Volunteers, Baltimore, 19th April, 1861.

In obedience to the order of His Excellency Governor Hicks the First Light Division will parade forthwith in North Calvert street, provided with ball cartridge, to suppress the insurrection and riot going on in the streets of this city, and to preserve good order and quiet.

By order of Maj. Gen. Steuart; James H. Steuart, Acting Aid.

Incidents of the Battle

While the cars containing the troops were standing at the President street depot, a clerk from the custom house went into one of them and denounced the soldiers in bitter terms. A captain ordered him out, threatening if he did not go they would fire on him. He replied they were too cowardly to fire, when the officer struck at him with his sword, which blow he received on the left hand, and with the other knocked him down and took his sword from him, as also the scabbard. A private interfered for the protection of his commander, and he too the clerk knocked down with a heavy drawn pistol, and escaped with his prize—the sword—the only injury he received being a pretty severe cut across his hand. At the intersection of Gay and Pratt streets, while the soldiers were firing upon the crowd, two other clerks from the same place ran into the ranks, and each knocking down a soldier with his fists, bore off their muskets as trophies of their exploit.

The young man shot in the leg, and taken to the Infirmary, and attended by Dr. Morris, appeared quite grateful for the humane attentions shown him. When asked why he came, the simple and unsophisticated reply of the youth was “Oh, the Flag—the Stars and Stripes.” It was expected that the wounded leg would have to be amputated last night. He is only about eighteen years old, and may he live to grow wiser as he grows older. Another of those in the station house said he had no enmity against the South, and came only because his company as ordered out, otherwise he would have been jeered as a coward and recreant. Others in the companies were actuated by the same motives.

A body of one hundred and five of the volunteers from the North was taken in charge by the police of the eastern district and sent back. They are now said to have stopped at Magnolia. At the eastern police station last night a German asked for lodging. He said he had been forced into the cars at Philadelphia, but did not know where they were going to take him.

The Run to Washington

The military train in its run to Washington was stopped at the Jackson bridge, near Chinquepin Hill, by the removal of several rails. They disembarked, and the rails were relaid, under the protection of the troops. An occasional shot was fired at the troops from the hills and woods along the route, but the range was too long for any effect.

Suspension of Business—Closing of Stores

As the riot progressed along Pratt street all the stores on that thoroughfare were closed. Many of the stores on Baltimore and other business streets were also closed. The utmost alarm and distress was manifested on the part of some females and children, many of whom ran crying through the streets, apprehensive for the safety of relatives and friends.


A great number of arrests of parties throwing bricks and missiles at the troops were made by the police. The magistrate imposed the usual fine under the ordinance prohibiting the throwing of missiles in the streets.



Badge & Patch History


By Public Affairs Office Monday, March 17, 2008; 7:00 pm

Old BPD badges


The design of the patch and the shield is predicated upon the historical and significant events that occured in the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland.

The BPD badge

The BPD badge

The shield on the patch (and badge) is the Great Seal of Maryland which was brought over from England during the early days of the colony. The shield, or escutcheon, bears the Calvert and Crossland arms quartered. The second Lord Baltimore (Cecilus Calvert) adopted this design with the gold and black of the Calverts in the upper left and lower right quarters, and the red and white crosses of the Crossland family (the second Lord Baltimore’s maternal forebearers) in the lower left and upper right quarters.

The BPD patch

The BPD patch

Superimposed on the shield is the Battle Monument of Baltimore which is the City’s official insignia and commemorates the successful defense of Baltimore from attack by British Forces in 1814.