Baltimore officers tell CNN they gave mayor and other officials what they wanted

Yesterday, CNN's Brooke Baldwin spoke with two active Baltimore police officers in an anonymous interview regarding the city's less aggressive, softer approach to crime.  The officers stated that Baltimore's leaders do not have their backs, which has left them no choice but to back off when it comes to proactive policing.

On May 1, after State Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six police officers with the death of drug dealer Freddie Gray, Baltimore experienced the worst crime wave since 1972, with 42 murders and nearly one hundred shootings.  When asked about the spike in crime and their oaths to "serve and protect," the officers told Baldwin the slowdown "does a disservice to the law-abiding citizens[.] ... It does a disservice to everybody except the criminal element[.]"  But they have little choice due to the current leadership.

One officer said "everybody has lost something" in this situation, referring to Gray's death.

When asked what the officers lost, he replied: "Their lives.  I mean, they will never be able to go back to their normal life at this point.  It doesn't matter if they're exonerated, which they should be.  It doesn't matter. This is a life-changing event, which can't be turned back around."

The crackdown on police in Baltimore and other hotspots is more than life-changing; it’s unfinished business.  The Baltimore police officers in the interview who can't show their faces and who must speak through voice-altering technology for their own safety are feeling the full effects of an anti-cop movement that's been gaining steam since the 1960s.

For decades,  black activists, radical groups, and civil rights leaders have painted  the nation's police force with one broad swipe.  In a 1966 article for The Nation, black author James Baldwin wrote: "And the police are simply the hired enemies of this population. They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect white business interests, and they have no other function.”

More recently, in the same magazine, Mychal Denzel Smith suggested we need to "abolish the police" altogether.  Simply holding individual police officers accountable with charges of murder is not enough.  Smith says, "This isn’t about getting 'better' police, ones who exercise discretion in using force, but getting away from 'needing' police altogether."

Smith then asks, "What do you do with an institution whose core function is the control and elimination of black people specifically, and people of color and the poor more broadly?"

Smith believes that police are black people's number-one enemy,  conveniently ignoring the fact that black citizens are shooting and killing each other in record numbers.

Moreover, in his April 9 piece, Smith says he can't imagine what a world without police looks like.  But he knows for certain that "there will be less [sic] dead black people."

Yesterday, CNN's Brooke Baldwin spoke with two active Baltimore police officers in an anonymous interview regarding the city's less aggressive, softer approach to crime.  The officers stated that Baltimore's leaders do not have their backs, which has left them no choice but to back off when it comes to proactive policing.

On May 1, after State Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six police officers with the death of drug dealer Freddie Gray, Baltimore experienced the worst crime wave since 1972, with 42 murders and nearly one hundred shootings.  When asked about the spike in crime and their oaths to "serve and protect," the officers told Baldwin the slowdown "does a disservice to the law-abiding citizens[.] ... It does a disservice to everybody except the criminal element[.]"  But they have little choice due to the current leadership.

One officer said "everybody has lost something" in this situation, referring to Gray's death.

When asked what the officers lost, he replied: "Their lives.  I mean, they will never be able to go back to their normal life at this point.  It doesn't matter if they're exonerated, which they should be.  It doesn't matter. This is a life-changing event, which can't be turned back around."

The crackdown on police in Baltimore and other hotspots is more than life-changing; it’s unfinished business.  The Baltimore police officers in the interview who can't show their faces and who must speak through voice-altering technology for their own safety are feeling the full effects of an anti-cop movement that's been gaining steam since the 1960s.

For decades,  black activists, radical groups, and civil rights leaders have painted  the nation's police force with one broad swipe.  In a 1966 article for The Nation, black author James Baldwin wrote: "And the police are simply the hired enemies of this population. They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect white business interests, and they have no other function.”

More recently, in the same magazine, Mychal Denzel Smith suggested we need to "abolish the police" altogether.  Simply holding individual police officers accountable with charges of murder is not enough.  Smith says, "This isn’t about getting 'better' police, ones who exercise discretion in using force, but getting away from 'needing' police altogether."

Smith then asks, "What do you do with an institution whose core function is the control and elimination of black people specifically, and people of color and the poor more broadly?"

Smith believes that police are black people's number-one enemy,  conveniently ignoring the fact that black citizens are shooting and killing each other in record numbers.

Moreover, in his April 9 piece, Smith says he can't imagine what a world without police looks like.  But he knows for certain that "there will be less [sic] dead black people."