Brian Rice, one of the six Baltimore police officers indicted in the killing of Freddie Gray, may have received a substandard psychological evaluation from a firm that is now under investigation by the city. In 2012, Rice was accused of threatening the mother of his child with a handgun.
Psychology Consultants Associated, the firm contracted to provide psychological assessments for Baltimore police officers, was placed on probation in June by the Maryland State Police, which also employs its services. PCA was found to take only 15 minutes to evaluate the mental health of prospective state cops when 45 minutes were required in its contract, the Associated Press reports. Baltimore city followed suit with an investigation into PCA, but its contract is still active “pending the conclusion of the investigation,” city spokesman Kevin Harris told the AP.
Veteran Baltimore cop and outspoken critic of the department Michael A. Wood said that after the handgun incident, Rice “absolutely would have had a fitness for duty evaluation, and would have been referred to PCA.” A May report in the Guardian revealed a troubling history of violence from Rice. In addition to threatening to shoot Karen McAleer, his child’s mother, he also allegedly threatened to kill himself and Andrew McAleer, her husband. Andrew McAleer also claimed that Rice forced his and Karen’s child to “shoot” a photo of the McAleers that had been “taped to a piece of cardboard intended for target practice.” Rice, who has been employed by the department since 1997, was charged with manslaughter, assault, and misconduct in Gray’s death.
PCA’s alleged misconduct may extend well beyond the BPD and state police: it has held contracts with at least 17 Maryland law enforcement agencies over the last five years, according to the AP.