Former Baltimore, Maryland, police officer Michael Wood made headlines in 2015 when he tweeted about the corruption he allegedly witnessed and participated in during his 11 years as a cop.
Now, Wood explained in a one-minute video (below) uploaded to YouTube on May 12 how he believes cops push people into a cycle of crime, also known as recidivism:
So, we're arresting them because they have a previous marijuana possession charge that we jacked them up on a corner for and took out of their pocket illegally. And now they're driving in their car, but they missed the court date, so they have a warrant out.
So, now we're locking them up for a warrant and he now loses his job and he gets his license suspended. Then he's driving, and we're pulling him over and we're locking him up for that again. So, that cycle, we did. We started that. We perpetrated.
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So that's completely illogical that even if you say to yourself, "I'm focusing on the 16-24 black males because those guys are the ones who commit crimes." Yeah, but they're committing crimes because we pushed them into the cycle. If we want to stop them from committing crimes, we have to stop pushing them into a hopeless cycle.
In June 2015, Woods allegedly wrote a series of tweets describing some of the unsavory and illegal activities he and other cops were involved in during his time with the force, the Independent reports.
Punting a handcuffed, face down, suspect in the face, after a foot chase. My handcuffs, not my boot or suspect.
Targeting 16-24 year old black males essentially because we arrest them more, perpetrating the circle of arresting them more.
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Jacking up and illegally searching thousands of people with no legal justification.
A detective staging a hit & run to cover up crashing a departmental vehicle.
Placing people in a situation where they can choose either a 6month guilty plea or face 20+years in prison.
The tweets caused such a stir that Wood they caught the attention of The Washington Post. The newspaper interviewed him for a June 2015 interview in which Wood elaborates on his cycle of crime theory:
I grew up in Bel Air [ Maryland]. I didn’t have exposure to inner cities. And when you work in policing, you’re inundated early on with the “us vs. them” mentality. It’s ingrained in you that this is a war, and if someone isn’t wearing a uniform, they’re the enemy. It just becomes part of who you are, of how you do your job.
And when all you’re doing is responding to calls, you’re only seeing the people in these neighborhoods when there’s conflict. So you start to assume that conflict is all there is. Just bad people doing bad things.
(Note: The video below features Wood's voice. He is not responsible for the images, which some may find offensive.)