Baltimore Police Issue 2nd Amendment Decal Warning
On May 29, 2011, the Baltimore Police Criminal Intelligence Section issued an “Intelligence Bulletin” warning officers about persons displaying the 2nd Amendment decal pictured here. The bulletin contains the following caption in bold red letters:
“….while the individual who is displaying the symbol may not be armed, the presence of the symbol provides an early warning indicator that you MAY be about to encounter an armed individual.”
It apparently never occurred to the Intelligence Section that perhaps we the people could use a warning that the presence of a badge provides an early warning that we are about to encounter an armed individual. While this may seem a bit sarcastic, it is certainly not unfair for Maryland citizens to have reason for concern when they are approached by an officer.
This is especially true when the officers are overly tense because they have been warned that a citizen with a decal or patch MAY be armed.
This Association asked James H. Green, of the Baltimore City Police Department to explain why the Baltimore City Police Department feels the need to profile persons who choose to support the U.S. Constitution.
Mr. Green responded with the following statement:
“I have spoken with our Criminal Intelligence Section and the bulletin was created in response to a number of recent inquires asking about the decal and its meaning and information generally provided to law enforcement about officer safety. All law enforcement agencies attempt to inform our officers or citizens as appropriate when inquiries such as this arise.
I certainly disagree with you characterization of “profiling.” Clearly the bulletin is informational and does not remotely suggest a suppression of Constitutional rights. In fact, as you are aware, many law enforcement personnel are members of the NRA or affiliated organizations.
As you are also aware, traffic stops are the single most dangerous encounter for law enforcement. It certainly is practice for law enforcement to ask operators about weapons for safety reasons only. The presence of a decal is NOT justification in itself for a traffic stop.
I hope that this address you inquiry and clears up any confusion about the bulletin.”
Note: “ WRTAC” stands for “Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center”
This Association has already submitted a Public Information Act request for information regarding similar bulletins involving NRA decals, patches and license plates.
It is quite interesting that the Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center and the Baltimore Police believe that showing support for the U.S. Constitution is considered a threat to police officers.