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Baltimore Cop Who Spoke Out Against Misconduct Wants to Lead Chicago Force

© Facebook/Michael A. Wood Jr.Baltimore Cop Who Spoke Out Against Misconduct Wants to Run Chicago PD
Baltimore Cop Who Spoke Out Against Misconduct Wants to Run Chicago PD - Sputnik International
Michael Wood Jr., the former Baltimore police officer and Black Lives Matter supporter who famously took to Twitter to describe misconduct within the department, has applied to be Chicago’s new police superintendent. He told Sputnik he feels a “moral imperative” to see real justice served.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy was fired after massive protests in the wake of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and the department’s subsequent mishandling of the case. McDonald was shot 16 times on October 20, 2014, but the officer was not charged until the city was forced to release dashcam footage of the event over a year later.

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Wood is a veteran of the Marines who spent 11 years as a Baltimore officer. He is an outspoken advocate for police reform and has spent the past six years fighting for equality, justice, and a professional policing code. 

His Twitter storm last June about misconduct he personally witnessed made global headlines as he recounted seeing an officer slap an innocent woman for bumping into him, officers defecating in beds and on the clothing of suspects during raids, and the consistent targeting of black men, aged 16-24.

“I represent a revolution in police reform,” Wood wrote in a letter to the Chicago Police Board accompanying his resume. “I represent a paradigm shift. I see the policing model as irrational, the goal is to stop crime; however, we measure that by how many people are arrested for crimes.”

“This is a model that has no motivation for success, as its success would defeat its purpose. Policing must be reformed to be incentivized for success and justice. My dedication goes beyond academic and professional endeavors, I feel a deep moral imperative to end the cycle of violence, bring humanity into policing, reimagine what public service is, and clarify what defines a hero.”

Wood told Sputnik about what motivated him to change the police system in the US.

“I want to see our officers come home safely to their significant others. I just want that safety to come at the end of a thought as opposed to the end of a barrel because our citizens deserve to safely go home as well,” Wood told Sputnik. 

“My life as a Marine taught me to be courageous and act with honor. My career with a badge opened my eyes to the significance of integration instead of occupation. My pursuit of education and science has made me understand that systems create actions. My love of humanity created a moral imperative to change policing to pursue justice instead of jail cells.”

Wood, who often attends protests against police brutality, now stands on the opposite side from former coworkers. 

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“This pursuit of justice drew me to activism on the streets where listening to the community has been a difficult lesson on the effects of police on a community. It is a complicated and nuanced mission, but police are performing a function and much like any other performance, success depends upon how well you know your audience. I am completely committed to understanding my audience.”

Wood is among 39 candidates who applied for the position, CBS News reported. 

The Independent Police Review Authority is expected narrow the field down to three frontrunners by the end of the month, who they will submit to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is expected to make the final decision in March.

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