Sources say that a Baltimore police lieutenant has been suspended after sending an email that referred to protesters of the Black Lives Matter movement as “thugs.”
Lt. Victor Gearhart, a police union leader, sent the email out to the entire force, reports Baltimore CBS Local.
In the email, Gearhart warns the police force to expect more “bad behavior” from protesters. He also writes that the protesting might distract them from “killing each other.”
“By now you have seen that the THUGS from Black Lives Matter and other similar groups have attempted to disrupt the State FOP Convention being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Well today as check-in day with activities spread over the next 3 days so expect more bad behavior from the Thugs of Baltimore. On the bright side maybe they will stop killing each other while they are protesting us,” Gearhart wrote in the email.
The email refers to protesters who gathered Sunday outside the Hyatt Regency and chained themselves to an escalator to protest the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), as well as other police actions. Protesters wore shirts reading “Justice 4 Korryn Gaines”, a reference to the woman shot by police after she threatened them with a shotgun.
Twelve protesters were arrested after refusing to unchain themselves from the escalator. The Fire Department and police officers had to cut them from their chains.
A spokesperson for the Baltimore Police said that Gearhart’s email does not represent the entire police force.
“It’s not an email that’s representative of this agency and not only was the police commissioner outraged, several members of the agency called to express their frustration,” TJ Smith, the spokesperson, said.