Many varied sources of video helped to speed up the investigation process of a suspect killed in a gunfight with police in Baltimore. Since the criminal was killed by the police, there is the potential for all kinds of unwarranted hand-wringing, second-guessing and officer character assassination to take place. Video helps to eliminate much of that. The incident occurred on June 26th but hasn’t gotten the coverage it should. This is the kind of danger that police face the potential of every minute of their day.
Baltimore Police responded to a call of an armed robbery in progress with the perpetrator attempting to make his escape by boarding a city bus. Police stopped it about a block later and the criminal opened fire.
It’s a bit of good luck for the Baltimore Police Department, that this guy, Blaine Robert Erb, wasn’t black. He looks to be one of those valueless white guys that nobody will get upset over. When a similarly insignificant black guy gets shot we all know how much outrage there can be, and how much his life otherwise meaningless life matters.
Aside from the dead perpetrator, two other people were shot, one of them a police officer another a bystander. Both are expected to survive their injuries. He did the right thing in letting the passengers, potential hostages, off of the bus, although they were his only bargaining chip. That act likely prevented others from being killed.
Erb, already under a warrant and with new charges of armed robbery and firearms possessions now clearly part of any future he might have had, seems to have decided that he was going to go out with a bang. He could have surrendered but he chose not to.
According to the Baltimore Sun, four officers fired their weapons at Erb. Those officers, whose names have not been released, were placed on routine administrative leave. At least one officer was wearing a body camera, police said, but all visual and audio recordings will not yet be released because they are part of the investigation.
Police said Erb had a “lengthy criminal history in Maryland and neighboring states.” His previous charges include robbery, weapon violations, assault and theft. He was a societal parasite that the world is better off without. We’re just lucky he didn’t get anyone else killed as he was making his exit.
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