Janet Lee

Janet Lee
Photo:Janet Lee, injured by a taxi partition.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Baltimore "rough rides"... not a very common practice?

Natalie Finegar, the deputy public defender for Baltimore City, said she does not believe rough rides are a common practice in Baltimore — or she would have heard about it.

Key, the former city police officer who is now a consultant, said another term for the practice was "bringing them up front." By slamming on the brakes, detainees would bump against the cage behind the driver's seat.

"If it's done on purpose, it's a criminal act and violates regulations," said Key, who is not involved in Gray's case. If a detainee is injured in a ride due to some action by the driver, the incident must be reported, he added.

University of South Carolina professor Geoffrey Alpert, an expert in police force, said rough rides are also known as "screen tests." When police cars or vans had screens between the front and back seats, drivers would stop short — "to avoid a dog" — sending a handcuffed prisoner flying face-first into the screen, he said.

"Cops used to laugh about it.
That was big in the 1980s and 1990s," Alpert said. "It was obviously against policy and illegal. I remember in some trainings that police chiefs would say, 'You'd better bring the damn dog you were trying to avoid if you come in with a prisoner with such an injury.'"

Alpert added, "Now a lot of these vans and cars have videos in them. So it doesn't happen very often."

Where is the footage of these RARE events?
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