According to a police report obtained by the Guardian, Brian Rice, the most senior Baltimore police officer charged over the death of Freddie Gray, used his position as a lieutenant in the Baltimore Police Department to demand that police in a nearby city arrest his ex-girlfriend’s husband. Earlier reports indicate that Rice had previously threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her husband and to commit suicide.
A report filed on March 29 by Westminster police officer Christopher Obst describes Rice arriving at that city’s police headquarters around 3:45 a.m., the Guardian reports. Rice claimed that his ex-girlfriend’s husband Andrew McAleer was violating a court-issued peace order to stay away from his wife—Rice’s ex-girlfriend—Karyn. According to the report, he threatened that “heads will roll” if Westminster officers did not “go arrest” Andrew.
Police who visited Karyn McAleer’s home found her mother and sister babysitting her children, who were sleeping. The women told police Andrew was not at the house and had not been for some time, and merely left his car parked at the property. But Rice refused to believe he was not there, according to Obst, insisting incorrectly “he must have ran out the back door”.
Police told Rice to stay out of a court order that did involve him. At the police station, he declined to give identifying information, tried to snatch the court order on the McAleers from the officer’s hands, and tried to leave, declaring his visit a waste of time.
When asked to give his cellphone number, Rice gave a version with one digit altered, according to the officer. Obst wrote that when he found Rice’s true number on a police system and reached him, the Baltimore lieutenant asked “how did you get this number” and “did not admit to giving me a fictitious number”.
“He is in a position of authority, not just in the community, but over the top of other police officers, giving directions and guidance,” Neill Franklin, a former lieutenant colonel in the Baltimore police force, said. “Obviously he’s the one in charge, on the scene where Freddie Gray is arrested so the other officers are definitely going to take his advice and his direction and orders.”
“The questions that need to be posed to the police department is what has been done regarding the evaluation of Lieutenant Rice that leads you to believe that he is stable? Stable enough to be a police officer and stable enough to be a manager within the police department working in patrol.”