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Brooklyn Homes mass shooting: 173-page report details Baltimore's response to block party violence

Brooklyn Homes mass shooting: 173-page report details Baltimore's response to block party violence
Brooklyn Homes mass shooting: 173-page report details Baltimore's response to block party violence 03:27

BALTIMORE - The 173-page report detailing Baltimore City's response to the Brooklyn Homes mass shooting, the largest in the city's history, reveals acts of heroism by officers who saved lives. 

That includes newly-released police body-worn camera video

But it also documents failures to properly respond to the large, unpermitted event until it was too late, including warnings that it was turning out of control.

The combined report can be found here.      

Full Conference: City leaders discuss after action reports in Brooklyn Homes mass shooting 16:49

Three days beforehand, police intelligence uncovered a flyer that stated the annual Brooklyn Day block party was happening but did not act on the advance notice and had no one monitoring social media the day of the event.

Also, officers saw the party setting up but did not provide needed extra patrols as the crowds grew, swelling to as many as 900 people.

The report said two CitiWatch camera operators never notified supervisors of the growing party. 

A third operator did say something to a supervisor but that was two hours before the mass shooting and hundreds were already filling the area. 

Police contend shifts were fully staffed but supervisors did not inspect the area as they should have. 

They said the command staff asked for overtime instead of making the entire shift stay on duty as the crowd got bigger. 

The report notes command failed to call in officers from other parts of Baltimore.

The report looked at communications among officers and supervisors and the calls coming in from the public.

A 9:41 p.m., on July 1, a call stated, "Hundreds…are armed with guns and knives." 

It went unanswered for more than half an hour.

CCTV images show fireworks being set off, and there were multiple calls for armed people. 

At 10:26 p.m., a supervisor says, "Yeah, we are not going into that crowd."

At 12:11 a.m., a message from the command states, "Monitor only. Don't get drawn in and become a target." 

Acting police commissioner Richard Worley has acknowledged failures

He told WJZ last week, "When we had the initial meeting, I said we could have done better. And we could have. We'll stick to that. The report will pretty much show some of the things that we could have done better."

The report says because of turnover in leadership, successful past plans to handle Brooklyn Day were never passed along, and staffing shortages led to officers not engaging with the community and learning more about the event. 

The city says they plan to fix the breakdowns in communication and leadership.

The report also details the response of the Housing Authority, which says no calls were made to its emergency after-hours hotline during the event. 

"We want to thank Mayor Scott and his administration for taking the important initiative to assess each agency's response and actions to the tragic incident that occurred on July 2," the housing agency said in a statement. "It's an opportunity to understand what worked well with our emergency response plans and areas where we can improve."

It also has a response from the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, which says Safe Streets workers mediated five disputes that evening and had advance notice of the event but no warnings there would be any violence. 

The report maintains evidence was not compromised by trash cleanup the next day.

"We can begin to heal that trauma by focusing on accountability, and taking steps to ensure this never happens again in our city," Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement. 

He acknowledged the pain for the loved ones of Kylis Fagbemi and Aaliyah Gonzalez—the two who died—and the 28 others shot that terrifying morning. 

Baltimore's Public Safety and Government Operations Committee is set to hold a hearing about the after-action reports and the city government's response to the shooting on Wednesday, September 13.  

Here is the full statement from Mayor Scott:

"The mass shooting in Brooklyn Homes is one of the most painful chapters in our city's history. The loss of two young lives, Aaliyah Gonzalez and Kylis Fagbemi, and the traumatic impact that it had on dozens and dozens of others will leave a devastating impact on our city forever." 

"We can begin to heal that trauma by focusing on accountability and taking steps to ensure this never happens again in our city. With these After Action Reports, we've identified a number of findings, revelations, and recommendations that will offer us valuable insight into exactly what occurred or did not occur within City government leading up to this horrific act of violence."

"But they also lay the foundation for the path forward as we seek to address those shortcomings. We discussed the need for this type of detailed accounting the very night we arrived on the scene at Brooklyn Homes. These reports are only a first step. Now, we will continue to pursue the reforms necessary to respond."

"Baltimore City government agencies and counterparts fell short on our promise to our residents, and we will do everything in our power to ensure those mistakes are not repeated. We will also not rest until justice is served to those individuals who made the decision to pick up a gun with reckless disregard for the lives of their neighbors and turned a peaceful community event into a traumatic event. The investigation is not slowing down, and we will continue seeking the accountability that this community deserves. Baltimore, you have my word that we will address every misstep and, together, find a path forward to heal." 

Here are some of the police recommendations: 

  • Recommendation 1: Adhere to the new post geographies from redistricting that better align patrol staffing resources in the Brooklyn neighborhood (and across the City) so that historical inequities among posts can be reduced and provide more equitable policing services across all neighborhoods. 
  • Recommendation 2: Further enhance recruitment efforts to bolster patrol staffing, with the long-term goal of meeting the staffing plan targets for patrol officer time dedicated to proactive community engagement. Intelligence 
  • Recommendation 3: Develop a more comprehensive notification protocol between district intelligence officers and district command staff to ensure proper situational awareness of large gatherings can be achieved and proper planning can be implemented. 
  • Recommendation 4: Standardize the use of Evertel for Districts to ensure that intelligence channels are available for command review and instruct intel officers to fully utilize the Evertel system for information sharing on large-scale events. 
  • Recommendation 5: Ensure that the regular schedules for intelligence units and neighborhood coordination units include sufficient weekend coverage and that available technology resources are being fully utilized to provide Districts with greater situational awareness regarding social media postings about large events. Operational Protocols 
  • Recommendation 6: Update standard operating procedures on how officers and supervisors interact with large-scale events to ensure safe and appropriate de-escalation of such events can take place. 
  • Recommendation 7: Review training on policies and BPD protocols for evidence and crime scene management in order to ensure proper coordination of external resources for large-scale critical incidents. Update protocols to ensure forensic personnel and Operations Bureau personnel are required to coordinate on decision-making that could impact evidence collection efforts on large crime scenes. Community Engagement 
  • Recommendation 8: All District Commands should instruct NCOs to develop a "neighborhood summary" for each neighborhood of their Districts. These summaries should include as much information as possible about annual or regularly scheduled public gatherings, events, ceremonies, vigils, etc. so that situational awareness in the district can be maintained if the leadership of a District or an NCO unit changes.

Watch: City leaders discuss release of compiled after-action reports in Brooklyn mass shooting:

Full Conference: City leaders discuss after action reports in Brooklyn Homes mass shooting 16:49


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