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Baltimore Mayor Calls Police Action a 'Delicate Balancing Act'
Updated: Wednesday, December 18 2013, 04:38 PM EST
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Wednesday said she has concerns about force used by police officers, an issue that has come under scrutiny after the in-custody death of Anthony Anderson.
"On the broader issue of the use of force, it is something that concerns me and something that I know concerns the police commissioner," Rawlings-Blake said. "That's why he convened the group to evaluate the death of Mr. Anderson, to make sure that we are using the appropriate force at the appropriate time."
An independent committee made up of law enforcement experts released its findings last week on the case of Anthony Anderson, a man who succumbed to injuries sustained after a city office executed the so-called apex move by throwing him to the ground. The panel interviewed officers and several key witnesses at the request of Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
The 26 page report reveals a unanimous decision from the committee that although the circumstances are tragic, everything that occurred was reasonable and no crime was committed. Several members of Anderson's family told the committee officers kicked Anderson after he was handcuffed, a version of events the panel dismissed.
According to the autopsy, Anderson suffered several broken ribs, a punctured spleen, and damage to his liver which hemorrhaged after his arrest. The medical examiner told the panel that it was possible the injuries were sustained during the takedown.
The committee also made some recommendations to the department including the creation of a separate homicide squad to specifically handle police related deaths.
"We have a very delicate balancing act when it comes to police action," Rawlings-Blake said on Wednesday. "We have police officers who every day they show up to work, they put their lives on the line. And we have a community that deserves protection without being under siege. They deserve protection and partnership."