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Ex-Baltimore Cop Takes to Twitter to Expose Abuse He Witnessed on Force

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonMarchers raise their fists in front of Baltimore police guarding the department's Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore
Marchers raise their fists in front of Baltimore police guarding the department's Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore - Sputnik International
Former Sgt. Michael A. Wood Jr., who spent 10 years with the Baltimore Police Department, took to social media on Wednesday to unleash a lengthy series of tweets describing the abuses that he witnessed firsthand during his time with the force.

"So here we go," Wood, 35, began. "I'm going to start Tweeting the things I've seen & participated in, in policing that is corrupt, intentional or not."

"A detective slapping a completely innocent female in the face for bumping into him, coming out of a corner chicken store," the list begins.

"Punting a handcuffed, face down, suspect in the face, after a foot chase. My handcuffs, not my boot or suspect," he continues.

According to whistleblower Wood, the officer who kicked the suspect has already been removed from the force.

“The kicking was the most egregious. Yeah I should have done something. Of course. But I was blinded. I was a complete rookie at the time. The truth is that I just said, ‘That’s your suspect. I’m out of here,’” he told The New York Daily News.

“CCTV cameras turning as soon as a suspect is close to caught,” “swearing in court and PC docs that suspect dropped CDS during unbroken visual pursuit when neither was true,” “jacking up and illegally searching thousands of people with no legal justification,” the next few tweets claim.

“Having other people write PC statements, who were never there because they could twist it into legality.”

“Targeting 16-24 year old black males essentially because we arrest them more, perpetrating the circle of arresting them more.”

In total, Wood made nine allegations of witnessed abuses.  He claimed he tried to get media outlets in Baltimore to give him a voice, but that only independent and alternative media have been willing to help him.

The Baltimore Police Department initially questioned his allegations, wondering why he did not provide names or dates, and why he waited so long to speak out.  Wood retired from the force last year.

These undated photos provided by the Baltimore Police Department, show Baltimore police officers, top row from left, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero, and bottom row from left, William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice and Alicia D. White, charged with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray. A grand jury indicted the six officers, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Thursday, May 21, 2015. - Sputnik International
Grand Jury Indicts Baltimore Cops Responsible for Death of Freddie Gray

In a subsequent statement to the Huffington Post however, a spokesperson for the department wrote: 

“The recent allegations made by Mr. Michael Wood are serious and very troubling. The Police Commissioner has made clear that the Baltimore Police Department will never tolerate malicious conduct. We hope that during his time as both a sworn member and as a sergeant with supervisory obligations, that Mr. Wood reported these disturbing allegations at the time of their occurrence. If he did not, we strongly encourage him to do so now, so that our Internal Affairs Division can begin an immediate investigation. In a recently published letter to the Baltimore Sun, the Police Commissioner made clear that his reform efforts remain focused on rooting out the type of conduct that is alleged. We implore Mr. Wood or anyone else with knowledge of such acts to contact our Internal Affairs Division at 410-396-2300.”

"What's really hard to convey is that some things are so commonplace, they didn't register until I was on the other side," Wood tweeted in a response to others who were asking the same questions.

By the Numbers: Baltimore is the Face of Inequality in the US - Sputnik International
By the Numbers: Baltimore is the Face of Inequality in the US

Wood said he will continue to post his experiences over the next few days.

"Sgt Wood was probably one of the most intelligent guys I ever met in the department," former Baltimore Police Detective Joseph Crystal told The New York Daily News.  

Crystal left the department after being targeted for extreme harassment and abuse for reporting a case of brutality.

Wood also told the Secular News Network in May that the "BPD started the riots," referring to the days of unrest following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.

Wood is the Police Leadership Association Founder, an author, and self described proponent of a new era of policing.

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