Dan Rodricks: A letter to Carroll County students about Baltimore

Dear students of Carroll County public schools, and particularly members of the Francis Scott Key High School Marching Band: I write to you from Baltimore to say it’s a shame you won’t be coming to the city any time soon on field trips, and I feel particularly bad for the band. The Key band was scheduled to perform in the Mayor’s Christmas Parade in Hampden on Sunday, and I can’t imagine the boys and girls in those smart plumed hats and handsome uniforms are pleased with the decision to stay home. It’s your loss, and ours. (Balt. Sun)

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Carroll County Public Schools' Baltimore field trip policy lacks consistency

Restrictions on school field trips to Baltimore has been met with mixed reaction, with some applauding Carroll County Public Schools and the Sheriff's Office for making the decision to halt trips to the city because of recent violence, and others questioning the rationale. Trying to sort out perception versus reality in regards to violence in the city is no easy task. There is no question that violence in parts of Baltimore is indeed "out of control," to quote the city's mayor, Catherine Pugh.  But what's happening in the city right now isn't anything like what was occurring during the civil unrest and rioting in 2015, the last time CCPS decided to temporarily ban field trips to Baltimore. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Should Baltimore ban field trips to Carroll County?

Baltimore’s mayor says crime is “out of control.” A city homicide detective was killed in broad daylight, leading police to put an entire neighborhood on lockdown for days. A handful of crimes allegedly committed by young people have gotten a great deal of attention, leading many who have been able to ignore the now three-year-long spike in violence to suddenly give it fresh concern. Given all that, we can understand why some parents might be worried about whether it is safe for their children to go on field trips here. (Balt. Sun)

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David A. Plymyer: Police cameras are a tool, not a weapon

As The Sun’s Alison Knezevich reported, a coalition of civil rights groups is raising concerns about police departments — including Baltimore city’s and county’s — that allow officers to review recordings from body-worn cameras prior to writing incident reports, pointing to studies that claim “watching video replays can easily change people’s memories, often subconsciously.” I have no problem with the science cited by the coalition. I do have a problem, however, with the message the group is sending, which is that officers cannot be trusted to use body cameras in a constructive and truth-seeking manner. (Balt. Sun)

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Community needs to come to grips with homicide problem

Like Annapolis Police Chief Scott Baker, we’re hoping for a big turnout for Wednesday’s community meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Rosalie Mitchell Community Center at 1014 President St. There’s much to talk about, starting with the shooting death of 17-year-old Terry Bosley at President Street on Nov. 18, and moving on to more general questions about what the police and the community can do together about an upswing in lethal violence that has brought seven homicides to the city this year and at least eight shooting incidents to President Street alone in the past three years. (Capital)

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November 28 // Laslo Body: Happy Holidays to Trump voters everywhere

Donald Trump has been president for almost one full year.  To those who voted for him: You must have a lot to be thankful for. Those of us who supported the candidate who lost in the Electoral College have been admonished frequently since then to try to understand your point of view and your grievances. We are told that if only Hillary Clinton had paid more attention to you and your concerns, the election outcome might have been different. (From a Certain Point of View)

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Why does Maryland try so many juvenile offenders as adults?

Despite Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis’ recent complaint that 90 percent of minors accused of serious crimes see their cases moved from adult court to the juvenile system, the truth is that Maryland juveniles charged with serious crimes are actually far more likely to be tried and sentenced in adult courts than in other states. That’s because in most states only a handful of egregious offenses — murder, rape, aggravated assault, etc. — are deemed serious enough to warrant starting a case against a juvenile in adult court. (Balt. Sun)

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What justice for Freddie Gray would look like now

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis’ decision to bow to the inevitable and dismiss charges against the last police officer who faced possible discipline as a result of Freddie Gray’s death means that justice, as many people in this city see it, will never be done. Gray was perfectly healthy the morning he was chased by officers and arrested for no particularly good reason, and an hour later, he was lying in the back of a police van with catastrophic injuries to his neck. (Balt. Sun)

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